Genesis: A Latvian Childhood
In this poignant memoir completed shortly before his death, Chaim Bermant, the popular and controversial Jewish novelist and columnist, recalls his childhood spent in the Latvian shtetl of Barovke where his father was rabbi in the uneasy years before World War 2. Here he evokes the carefree hedonism of his early youth, setting it against the richly sensual background of the changing seasons. He also paints a vivid picture of the many unique and often eccentric characters who disappeared like shadows with the outbreak of war. With the keen eye for detail and sharp wit for which he was renowned, Bermant vividly recreates the fascinating world he knew as a boy: the bustling town market, the elders' meetings at the bath-house, the summer evenings when the music of a distant accordion would remind him that a whole new world lay beyond Barovke. This is a moving recollection of an era long gone, recalled with affection, yet not uncritically. Touching, haunting and with deep flashes of humor, this warm and rich memoir is a unique evocation of a vanished world.
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