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Otherwise Fables Paperback – April 1, 2014

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Otherwise Fables

“Doses of James Thurber’s wit, a little of Marcel Ayme’s paradoxical thought, some of Aesop’s powerful simplicity, and even a dash of Umberto Eco’s literary aphorisms. . . . [Mandel] infuses his writing with the idea of two faces, much like Janus, the Roman god of passages and bridges who is often depicted as looking both at the future and the past. And so like Janus, Mandel reveals himself to be a great bridge constructor in the philosophical dimension of writing.” —Necessary Fiction

“Shrouded in the form of fantastical fairy tales, Mandel’s complete collection of fictions utilizes a simple, concise writing style combined with a characteristically irreverent wit to impart the wisdom of age-old morals while entertaining the reader with story lines full of implausibly magical situations. Mandel proves that fables, and the lessons within them, stretch beyond the realm of childhood.” —World Literature Today

“Oscar Mandel, heir to Aesop and La Fontaine, uses animals in order to point up our idiosyncrasies, expose our cowardice and highlight, with certain indulgence, our venial sins. No one is safe from the mischievous gaze of this Belgian . . . who writes equally well in English and French. Browsing through these . . . snapshots of the human condition will provoke knowing smiles and laughter.” —Air France Magazine

“Magical. . . . Mandel has mastered the art of spinning a world with words. . . . [Otherwise Fables is] refreshing because it is the type of delightful, smart work that is ageless.” —Jewish Book World

“Mandel’s fiction does a nice job of blending a classic storytelling voice with a slyly modern sensibility, producing stories that work as fables while still having a little fun with the genre’s conventions. . . . Taken together, the three works in Otherwise Fables show a writer with an ear for storytelling and a willingness to keep an older style fresh.” —ForeWord Reviews

More Praise for the Fabulist Fiction of Oscar Mandel

“Indirect, subliminal magic.” —New York Times Book Review

“Strong, sophisticated stories.” —Chicago Tribune

“Joyfulness and simple wisdom.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Delightful little tales, best described as modern Aesop fables.” —Hollywood Reporter

“Catering to us closet thinkers who find intellectual intercourse a wholly satisfying pleasure.” —Los Angeles Times

“Refreshing, witty and thoroughly engaging.” —International New York Times

“Mandel’s present-day, tongue-in-cheek fables are worthy descendants of Aesop and La Fontaine.” —Hartford Courant

“Slyly witty and highly sophisticated . . . keeps the audience chuckling.” —Pasadena Star-News

“Dazzlingly witty” —CYNTHIA OZICK

About the Author

Oscar Mandel is an acclaimed Belgian-born American author, scholar, and playwright who has published on numerous topics in English and French. He has written on the subject of literary theory and art history, translated plays, and authored poetry, drama, and fiction. He is professor emeritus of literature at the California Institute of Technology, having taught there for more than forty years. He lives in Paris, France, and Los Angeles, California.

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