The Rent Collector
B. Glen Rotchin
The fashion business meets Kabbalah in Montreal's garment district.
In a novel that does for Chabanel Street what Mordecai Richler's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz did for St. Urbain Street, a 36-year-old Orthodox Jew, Gershon Stein, collects rent in a large industrial building in the heart of Montreal's needletrade. Meanwhile, he struggles to reconcile his relationship with his ailing Holocaust-survivor father, find balance in his family life, and match wits with his arch-nemesis, Joey Putkin, an Israeli leather coat manufacturer leasing the basement of his building.
Gershon's days are occupied by an array of colourful tenants: Arnie Free, who makes footwear for Hasidic Jews and strippers; Sonny Lipsey, whose shtick is giving industry characters the perfect nicknames; and the delicate Michelle Labelle, whose face seems to emit a mysterious light. If there is one thing Gershon knows, it's that life is rented and everyone has a debt to pay: to their landlord, their family, their community, and, most of all, to their soul.
"The Rent Collector is a stunning debut. I can safely say this, because I'm stunned that this is the first novel Rotchin has published--it seems too self-assured, too well-written, and too wise to be such a thing."
--Paul Quarrington, author of Whale Music and Galveston
B. Glen Rotchin's poetry and fiction have appeared in several literary journals. He co-edited the poetry collections Jerusalem: An Anthology of Jewish Canadian Poetry and A Rich Garland: Poems for A.M. Klein. He has also worked in the garment district of Montreal. This is his first novel.
CANADIAN RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 2005
US RELEASE DATE: APRIL 2006
|| Trade Paper
||5.5 x 8.5
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