A Replacement Life

A Replacement Life

Book - 2014
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"A singularly talented writer makes his literary debut with this provocative, soulful, and sometimes hilarious story of a failed journalist asked to do the unthinkable: Forge Holocaust-restitution claims for old Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York.Yevgeny Gelman, grandfather of Slava Gelman, "didn't suffer in the exact way" he needs to have suffered to qualify for the restitution the German government has been paying out to Holocaust survivors. But suffer he has--as a Jew in the war; as a second-class citizen in the USSR; as an immigrant to America. So? Isn't his grandson a "writer"?High-minded Slava wants to put all this immigrant scraping behind him. Only the American Dream is not panning out for him--Century, the legendary magazine where he works as a researcher, wants nothing greater from him. Slava wants to be a correct, blameless American--but he wants to be a lionized writer even more.Slava's turn as the Forger of South Brooklyn teaches him that not every fact is the truth, and not every lie a falsehood. It takes more than law-abiding to become an American; it takes the same self-reinvention in which his people excel. Intoxicated and unmoored by his inventions, Slava risks exposure. Cornered, he commits an irrevocable act that finally grants him a sense of home in America, but not before collecting a price from his family.A Replacement Life is a dark, moving, and beautifully written novel about family, honor, and justice"-- Provided by publisher. "A humorous and heart-wrenching story of an aspiring twenty-something Russian-Jewish writer who struggles to reconcile his immigrant roots with his fragile new American identity"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, 2014
New York : Harper Perennial, 2015
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780062287878
0062287877
9780062287885
Branch Call Number: FICTION FISHM...B
Characteristics: 321 pages ; cm

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augsburgerin
Jul 01, 2015

A grandson starts forging restitution claim letters for friends and relatives of his grandfather who "didn't suffer in the right way" during the Holocaust. An interesting inquiry into family, history and morality.

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