Tag Archive for memoir

Review: Sailor and Fiddler, by Herman Wouk (2016)

Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-old Author, by Herman Wouk (Simon & Schuster) This slim volume, which the author describes as a “non-autobiography,” will be of special interest to people interested in literature, for it focuses primarily on Wouk’s writing life and how he came to create such popular works as The Caine Mutiny,…

Nate Leipciger’s ‘The Weight of Freedom’

From the Canadian Jewish News, February 2016 The powerful Holocaust movie Son of Saul, which is up for the “best foreign film” prize at the Academy Awards on February 28, presents a gut-wrenching view of Auschwitz-Birkenau from the point of view of a sondercommando: part of a group that herds prisoners into the gas chamber, processes…

Books: Brooklyn; The Boston Girl; and others

Immigrant Fiction from Brooklyn to Boston From the Canadian Jewish News, January 2016 First, a bit of movie trivia: what New York-born Jewish actor, plays an Italian-American plumber in love with an Irish immigrant in what recent film? Hint: most of it takes place in 1950s Brooklyn. The answer is Emory Cohen, who plays Tony…

Shteyngart as funny, self-deprecating ‘Little Failure’

Little Failure, by Gary Shteyngart. Published by Random House From the Canadian Jewish News, May 2015 In this funny, self-deprecating memoir, Gary Shteyngart tells the story of his family’s migration from Russia to America in 1979, when he was seven years old, and his subsequent transformation not only into a fully-grown Americanized Jewish male, but…

My Grandfather’s Gallery: A Family Memoir of Art and War

  REVIEW: My Grandfather’s Gallery: A Family Memoir of Art and War, by Anne Sinclair (Farrar Strauss & Giroux) Born in New York in 1948, the prominent French-Jewish journalist Anne Sinclair says that while the heroic stories of her paternal grandparents, who had stayed in France during wartime, had always resonated deeply within her, she…

Review: Alison Pick’s Between Gods

Seven years ago, as Toronto author Alison Pick began researching and writing what would become her prize-winning novel Far to Go, she realized that the seeds of two different projects — one a fictional manuscript, the other a closely allied memoir — were struggling for dominance within her mind. Giving priority to the novel, she…

Review of The 40s: The Story of A Decade (New Yorker)

Monuments Men, a new movie directed by George Clooney and starring Clooney and an impressive roster of A-list actors, tells the story of the special Allied unit tasked with rescuing artistic treasures looted by the Nazis from European museums and galleries during World War Two. The film is based loosely on Robert Edsel’s 2009 book…

Growing Up on Dundas Street, by Ben Kayfetz

  From Growing Up Jewish: Canadians tell their own stories (1997) My earlier recollection goesback to the very early 1920s, sitting on the stoop of our dry-goods store on Spadina Avenue and Baldwin Street (southeast corner), watching the Sunday evening church parade go by. These were the strollers emerging from two nearby Christian churches, the Western Congregational Church, just…

Excerpt: ‘The Rise of the Toronto Jewish Community’

  The following passages have been excerpted from The Rise of the Toronto Jewish Community, by Shmuel Mayer Shapiro (1877-1958), the late editor and publisher of the Toronto Yiddish newspaper, the Hebrew Journal. After surfacing in a synagogue archives in 2009, his unpublished manuscript was illustrated with some 90 rare and historic photographs and illustrations and…

New serial: The Girls I Might Have Married (1919)

Part One in a series of sketches by a prominent Canadian Jewish bachelor By Anonymous (originally serialized in 1919) Foreword I hope that none who read this chronicle of my adventures into the field of pro-matrimony (if I may so call it) will feel that I am writing in a spirit of boastfulness. On the…