Beautifully and simply told, this wonderfully illustrated graphic novel tells the story of Mendleman, a Jewish rug maker, who goes into town on "market day" in an attempt to sell his rugs. But when he finds out that the owner of the store where he usually sells his rugs is no longer there, and that the new owner doesn't care to buy his rugs, Mendleman's world is thrown into chaos as he begins to question his profession, his life, and all of existence. James Sturm, author of the great graphic novel collection James Sturm's America: God, Gold and Golems, elegantly brings to life through words and pictures the hustle and bustle of an early 1900s Eastern European village marketplace. Additionally, Sturm effectively incorporates Jewish beliefs and spirituality into the tale. For instance, Mendleman talks about how, after a debate over the exact time of the setting sun signaling the beginning of the Sabbath, he made a rug with the colors purple and black so that when dawn comes and the light of day fades, you can no longer tell the difference between the colors, and you know then that Sabbath has begun and prayers can be made. I highly recommend this book, especially for those who have never read a graphic novel before. This is a great one to begin with.
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Market Day by James Sturm