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By Lawrence Rudner, John Kessel, Susan Ketchin

Alexandr Davidowich Berman has made his dwelling stitching costumes for the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad. outdated, weary, and alert to anti-Semitism, he has retired. even if he has close himself up in his tiny condo, the curator of the Catherine Museum reveals him and commissions him to fix tsarist garments for a touring exhibition. sooner or later whereas mending a classic coat, Berman discovers a scrolled manuscript sewn into the liner. it's a letter written via a anonymous Jew who lived within the early 1800s below Nicholas I. "I am a guy of no value. I in basic terms wish my son to return back." encouraged by way of this document-the world's smallest Torah-the tailor is seized by way of a project. earlier than they're forgotten, he's made up our minds to assemble the lifestyles tales of Soviet Jews and secretly stitch them into the old garments preserved in Russia's nice museums, even into the go well with worn via Lenin's corpse. With Simon Moscovich Zorin, a retired glassblower he dragoons as his motive force and spouse, this tailor of Jewish reminiscence crosses Russia and the Ukraine on a stupendous, occasionally comical trip. The histories of those previous males and of Russian Jews they meet through the sojourn recreate a vibrant photograph of Jewry over many turbulent centuries. Berman's odyssey to maintain his people's lengthy historical past culminates in Moscow in 1991 at the day the Soviet govt collapses. Memory's Tailor is Lawrence Rudner's moment novel. He writes right here with irony and magic that experience encouraged comparisons with works by means of Singer, Kosinski, and Garc?a-M rquez. Combining comedy, tragedy, and a feeling of magical realism, Rudner makes this human tale shine as a heartfelt witness to an epic of affection, affliction, and persistence. sooner than his demise at age forty eight in 1995, Rudner have been acclaimed as a author of serious promise. His first novel, The Magic We Do the following (1988) was once praised hugely by way of readers and critics. Memory's Tailor, which he had accomplished in advance of he died, is the entire flowering of a strong expertise. Lawrence Rudner was once a professor of journalism, international literature, Holocaust literature, and inventive writing at North Carolina country college. Memory's Tailor used to be ready for e-book by means of novelist John Kessel, Rudner's colleague at North Carolina country collage, and via Susan Ketchin, writer of The Christ-Haunted panorama: religion and Doubt in Southern Fiction (University Press of Mississippi), and the 1st editor of the college Press of Mississippi's fiction sequence.

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Surrounded by enormous banners and Russians throwing flowers, the Hasid with the bright red star on his head < previous page page_57 next page > < previous page page_58 next page > Page 58 sang a few weak verses of "David, King of Israel" in Hebrew because his recent life had confirmedor so he had thoughtthe end of all children. And since he wasn't sure if the girl remembered the ancient language, he also sang in Russian, Polish, German, and Slovak. "A Jewish child," he rasped, kicking Berman's flanks.

In a square of purple morning light, her head hanging over a metal pail, was Yelenasprawled on the floor, her legs buckled in a growing island of vomit. Berman's nose < previous page page_28 next page > < previous page page_29 next page > Page 29 sent the message to his brain and he, too, gagged. Then he threw off the dress and crawled next to her. " he managed to say. " Yelena, whose body shrank with every dry heave, weakly pushed him away. She couldn't stop shivering. Her crucifix stuck to a chest that had retreated inward.

He starts movin' more after he wraps himself in a fancy Arab towel. Hoppin' < previous page page_44 next page > < previous page page_45 next page > Page 45 he was. Just like a roach, I swear it. He moves one way, does the 'uzza, uzza, uzza' stuff, then goes a few paces to the side. The more he moves, the more he scares the others. He wouldn't stop. " True, all true. The many Bermans did get a little excited. Who knows? Maybe he was battling against those buzzing gnats and they got the better of him?

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