Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Replacement Life

Letters. Boris Fishman’s debut novel, A Replacement Life, captures the many ways in which our lives are a jumble of contrasts. Protagonist Slava Gelman is a writer living in Brooklyn who has been manipulated by his grandfather to write a false claim for restitution from Germany for what happened to the grandfather during the Holocaust. While the grandfather suffered during that time, what happened to him in real life doesn’t qualify for restitution, so a replacement life has to be created. Who better than his grandson the writer who works at a prestigious magazine to do this? The things we do for love. One letter leads to another. In the meantime, there’s a love story. Also the work at the magazine isn’t quite the American dream Slava expected. There are plenty of novels of the immigrant experience, and this one is funny, interesting, and alive. I enjoyed it thoroughly, especially the pitch-perfect dialect of Brooklyn’s Russian Jewish community. Rating: Four-star (I like it) Click here to purchase A Replacement Life from amazon.com.

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