Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner-Meir Shalev and Evan Fallenberg (Translator)

My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner

Meir Shalev and Evan Fallenberg (Translator)

Schocken, Oct 6 2911, $25.00

ISBN: 9780805242874

This is warm hearted often amusing memoir of the author’s grandparents. Aharon and Tonia left Russia in the early 1920s to move to the Holy Land. They planned to become farmers in Palestine. At the same time, Aharon’s brother Yeshayahu relocated in Los Angeles to become a businessman. Whereas Aharon and Tonia lived in poverty while supporting a Zionist state for Jews around the world to come home after centuries of the diaspora, Yeshayahu becomes rich. Tonia obsesses over keeping their house clean from dust, but refuses to use the vacuum svieeperrr sent by her brother-in-law because she feels strongly she must do the job by hand and rag and cannot allow the General Electric machine to become dirty. Aharon loathes the gizmo that represents in his mind his sibling worshipping the god of capitalism instead of helping the Zionists movement. This and much more like Tonia’s Jewish grandmotherly words of wisdom on changing socks and girls make for a wonderful insightful memoir as Meir Shalev pays homage to his grandparents who he visited as a young boy.

Harriet Klausner

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