book cover of Requiem for Harlem

Requiem for Harlem

(1998)
(The fourth book in the Mercy of a Rude Stream series)
A novel by

 
 
It's a shame that Henry Roth died in 1995, because now readers will never know what happens to his fictional alter ego, Ira Stigman, once he leaves City College. For readers familiar with Roth's series of autobiographical novels, Requiem for Harlem is the last of four books chronicling the childhood and young adulthood of Stigman; for those who have not yet discovered Roth, consider reading the first three in the series to get a handle on the dark, complicated, and rich world Ira Stigman occupies. Set in 1920s Harlem, Roth's novels explore the life of Jewish immigrants. In earlier volumes, the reader meets Ira, his sister Minnie, his cousin Stella, and his parents. Home life for the Stigmans is hardly heartwarming: the parents are locked in a violent marriage, and the children are involved in incestuous relationships. By the time Roth and Stigman have reached the events chronicled in Requiem for Harlem, Ira and Minnie are no longer sleeping together, but Ira and Stella are.

Requiem for Harlem follows Ira through his college years and his attempts to separate from his family, his neighborhood, and his own past. His childish passions for Minnie and Stella give way to his attraction to an older woman, Professor Edith Welles--an attraction that is as complex in its own way as his earlier relationships with his sister and cousin. It's unfortunate that there will be no further volumes taking us through the rest of Ira's life, but for those who wonder what happened to him, there is the example of Henry Roth to guide us.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Used availability for Henry Roth's Requiem for Harlem

Hardback Editions

May 1998 : UK Hardback
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Title: Requiem For Harlem: Mercy Of A Rude Stream Volume 4: Requiem for Harlem v. 4
Author(s): Henry Roth
ISBN: 0-297-84222-6 / 978-0-297-84222-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


February 1998 : USA Hardback
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Title: Requiem for Harlem: Mercy of a Rude Stream, Vol. 4
Author(s): Henry Roth
ISBN: 0-312-16980-9 / 978-0-312-16980-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

May 1999 : UK Paperback
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Title: Requiem For Harlem: Mercy Of A Rude Stream Volume 4 - 'A masterpiece, not remotely like anything else in American literature': Requiem for Harlem Vol 4
Author(s): Henry Roth
ISBN: 0-7538-0687-8 / 978-0-7538-0687-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


December 1998 : USA Paperback
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Title: Requiem for Harlem: Mercy of a Rude Stream Volume IV, A Novel
Author(s): Henry Roth
ISBN: 0-312-20205-9 / 978-0-312-20205-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

May 2015 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: Requiem For Harlem: Mercy Of A Rude Stream Volume 4 - 'A masterpiece, not remotely like anything else in American literature'
Author(s): Henry Roth
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Availability: Amazon UK