"Emil Draitser is authentic and honestly self-critical, while also full of humor and warmth. "Shush! "is a great tribute to the tenacity of a people who kept their identity and loyalty intact even when threatened with dire consequences."--Irena Grudzinska Gross, author of "The Scar of Revolution " "A wonderfully evocative memoir of childhood and ...
"Emil Draitser is authentic and honestly self-critical, while also full of humor and warmth. "Shush! "is a great tribute to the tenacity of a people who kept their identity and loyalty intact even when threatened with dire consequences."--Irena Grudzinska Gross, author of "The Scar of Revolution " "A wonderfully evocative memoir of childhood and adolescence during one of the most tragic epochs in Russian history. As grim as the historical background of the memoir is, the mood is redeemed by Draitser's perfectly Odessan Jewish humor, sad yet optimistic, compared with that of another great Odessan, Isaak Babel."--Lara Vapnyar, author of "There are Jews in My House" and "Memoirs of a Muse" "Emil Draitser resurrects the world of his Jewish childhood in the Soviet Union touchingly and with a great sense of humor, a truly rare quality."--Solomon Volkov, author of "Shostakovich and Stalin" and "The Magical Chorus: A History of Russian Culture from Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn" "Emil Draitser's memoir tells me, adroitly and movingly, more about being a child in Stalin's Russia than all the fiction and nonfiction I had read before put together. His work has worldwide appeal."--David Westheimer, author of "Von Ryan's Express" and "Death is Lighter than a Feather" "A poignant and gripping book. . . . A compelling memoir. . . . A sweeping panorama of the Jewish history in Russia, this richly documented work is a remarkable humanitarian contribution and a challenge to the continued silence in Russia surrounding its persecution of Jews. The volume touches a nerve and is written with a depth of feeling. The reader will appreciate the skilled craftsmanship that elevates Draitser's perfect gem of a memoir to fine literature."--"Notes on Contemporary Literature" "Vivid and engaging. . . .The most moving episodes are concerned with Draitser's coming to terms with his Jewish identity. . . . Elegantly and warmly written, this volume will be of interest to scholars exploring Jewish life in the Soviet period. . . . Despite the dramatic nature of the material, the stories are told with humor. A welcome addition to curricula in Russian culture, as well as for Jewish studies, sociology, history, and psychology."--"Slavic and East European Journal" "Rich in minute observations, psychological insights, and vivid descriptions."--"World Literature Today" "An intimate account of an extraordinarily difficult period in Jewish history, written with such erudition, elegance, texture, and humor. This immensely enjoyable book makes a consequential -- and little understood -- era come alive through the prism of the author's personal experience and enviable writing style. One can only hope that this book will receive the large audience it so richly deserves." --David A. Harris, Executive Director, American Jewish Committee
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