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Syracuse University Press

Yom Kippur in Amsterdam

Yom Kippur in Amsterdam

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Whether set in Maxim D. Shrayer's native Russia or in North America and Western Europe, the eight stories in this collection explore emotionally intricate relationships that cross traditional boundaries of ethnicity, religion, and culture. Tracing the lives, obsessions, and aspirations of Jewish-Russian immigrants, these poignant, humorous, and tender stories create an expansive portrait of individuals struggling to come to terms with ghosts of their European pasts while simultaneously seeking to build new lives in their American present.

The title story follows Jake Glaz, a young Jewish man apprehensive about marrying a Catholic woman. After realizing Erin will not convert, Jake leaves the United States to spend Yom Kippur in Amsterdam, "a beautiful place for a Jew to atone." In "Sonetchka" a literary scholar and his former girlfriend from Moscow reunite in her suburban Connecticut apartment. As they reminisce about their Soviet youth and quietly admire each other's professional successes, both wrestle with the curious mix of prosperity, loneliness, and insecurity that defines their lives in the United States.

Yom Kippur in Amsterdam takes the immigrant narrative into the twenty-first century. Emerging from the traditions of Isaac Babel, Vladimir Nabokov, and Isaac Bashevis Singer, Shrayer's vibrant literary voice significantly contributes to the evolution of Jewish writing in America.

Author: Maxim D. Shrayer
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Published: 04/30/2012
Pages: 141
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.44lbs
Size: 8.55h x 5.51w x 0.42d
ISBN: 9780815609988

About the Author
Maxim D. Shrayer is professor of Russian, English, and Jewish Studies at Boston College. Among his books are The World of Nabokov's Stories, Russian Poet/Soviet Jew, and the literary memoir Waiting for America: A Story of Emigration. A bilingual author and translator, Shrayer won the National Jewish Book Award for the two-volume Anthology of Jewish-Russian Literature.

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