The Girl From Human Street

The Girl From Human Street

Ghosts of Memory in A Jewish Family

Book - 2015
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Award-winning New York Times columnist Roger Cohen turns a compassionate yet discerning eye on the legacy of his own forebears. As he follows them across continents and decades, mapping individual lives that diverge and intertwine, vital patterns of struggle and resilience, valued heritage and evolving loyalties (religious, ethnic, national), converge into a resonant portrait of cultural identity in the modern age. Beginning in the nineteenth century and continuing through to the present day, Cohen tracks his family's story of repeated upheaval, from Lithuania to South Africa, and then to England, the United States, and Israel. It is a tale of otherness marked by overt and latent anti-Semitism, but also otherness as a sense of inheritance. We see Cohen's family members grow roots in each adopted homeland even as they struggle to overcome the loss of what is left behind and to adapt. At the heart of The Girl from Human Street is the powerful and touching relationship between Cohen and his mother, that "girl." Tortured by the upheavals in her life yet stoic in her struggle, she embodies her son's complex inheritance.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307594662
Characteristics: 304 p. : ill., genealogical table ; 25 cm


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Jun 19, 2015

I have to say I didn't like this book at all. I was very interested to read this book because the Roger Cohen's history is so similar to mine. Unfortunately I was told so little about my own history that I am now trying to find out what my ancestors went through by books. I found this book to be very disjointed and disorganized. I don't know what point he was trying to make. Did the constant migration affect his famiy's illness or was that just 2 things that occurred together? It certainly wasn't clear. I was hoping that I could give this book to my children to read but it fell far short. I don't recommend it.


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