By Lev Golinkin
A compelling tale of 2 intertwined trips: a Jewish refugee relations fleeing persecution and a tender guy looking to reclaim a shattered prior. within the twilight of the chilly conflict (the past due 1980s), nine-year previous Lev Golinkin and his relations move the Soviet border with basically ten suitcases, $600, and the imprecise promise of aid looking ahead to in Vienna. Years later, Lev, now an American grownup, units out to retrace his family's lengthy trek, find the strangers who fought for his freedom, and within the procedure, achieve a destiny by means of knowing his past.
Lev Golinkin's memoir is the brilliant, darkly comedian, and poignant tale of a tender boy within the complicated and sometimes chilling ultimate decade of the Soviet Union. It's additionally the tale of Lev Golinkin, the yank guy who eventually confronts his buried prior by way of returning to Austria and japanese Europe to trace down the strangers who made his break out attainable . . . and say thanks. Written with biting, acerbic wit and emotional honesty within the vein of Gary Shteyngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, and David Bezmozgis, Golinkin's look for own identification set opposed to the relentless currents of background is greater than a memoir—it's a portrait of a misplaced period. this can be a exciting story of break out and survival, a deeply own examine the lifetime of a Jewish baby stuck within the final gasp of the Soviet Union, and a provocative research into the facility of hatred and the quest for belonging. Lev Golinkin achieves an grand feat—and it marks the debut of a fiercely clever, defiant, and unforgettable new voice.
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Additional resources for A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir
Why, child, they were the meanest things in creation; they were poor, low down white folks, that descended from a French and Spanish mixture. " "It is just so, child. They were a poor, ignorant set that was just as mean as they were poor and ignorant. The only advantage they had over the negroes was that they were white, that's all. Well, as I was going to tell you, master would not allow his slaves to go 107 off the place. In order to keep them on the place he used to give them wives right on the place.
Now, my readers, these are not imaginary thoughts, but they were actually related to me. While I pen these lines I can hardly suppress the tears when I picture to my mind a poor woman marching before six men, six horses, and ten blood-hounds with blood oozing from her feet. There were none to care for her or give a friendly word in her behalf. Poor creature, she had given birth to a child in the woods, being compelled to wander about like a wild beast in the forest on account of the inhuman treatment of the white man in this Bible land of ours!
It was not long before Aunt Lorendo called again. " "I am pretty well," she said. " 68 "O, he is well as might be expected for an old man. You know he passed through so much hardship in slavery, he will never feel well till he gets home. He caught so much cold and is so painful he can't hardly rest at night. '" "Yes, ma'am; I used to be Catholic, but I never knowed how good the 'Merican religion was till I married John. He was a member of the 'Merican church, and he got me to go with him on Sundays to his church; and the more I went the more I liked it.
A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir by Lev Golinkin