Joel ben Izzy

The Gift Of Stories

10/24/2003
Special To The Jewish Week

Just after Yom Kippur, I sat down with acclaimed storyteller Joel ben Izzy to talk about his new memoir, "The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness" (Algonquin). At the heart of his riveting book is the story of how he lost his voice due to complications from throat surgery. Assuming his muteness to be permanent, ben Izzy sees his life's work coming to an end, and visits his mentor, Lenny, a cantankerous recluse, to find some answers. Lenny, to ben Izzy's astonishment, sees his affliction as a blessing.

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