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Picks and Pans Review: Yentl the Yeshiva Boy

updated 12/12/1983 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/12/1983 01:00AM

by Isaac Bashevis Singer

It is common practice in publishing, when a movie has been made of a book, to bring out a new paperback edition with a photograph of the star on the cover. Publishers sell millions of books this way. This is an amazing and gratifying exception. Singer's marvelous story, of a young woman in a Polish village who disguises herself as a boy so that she can study the Talmud, is published in this beautiful little volume with woodcut illustrations by Antonio Frasconi. Barbra Streisand's movie Yentl is in release now, yet this book includes not one photograph from the film. The volume, also designed by Frasconi, is the kind of book that gives pleasure in every way: a superb, mysterious story with the power of a folktale is illustrated by strong images of human faces and figures. There is a handsome typeface, creamy paper, strikingly colored decorative touches throughout. Author, illustrator and, in this case, a publisher with a sense of dignity, deserve a round of applause. (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, $10.95)

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