The Jew Store
Apr 15, 2011
Author: Stella Suberman
Publication Date: 1998
An older book, but part of the Algonquin Book Club recommended reading list and I have to say, so far they have been dead on with their picks.
This is a very amusing memoir, fleshed out in a lovely storytelling fashion, about a Jewish family that leaves the stifling confines of New York City to make themselves a new life in the South. Aaron, in America with no family at all, is very excited about the offer to move to the South and open a store. His wife, who is leaving several sisters and other relations behind, is less than thrilled but must follow her husband.
Together the family face the stigma of being Jewish in a Protestant town, the chore of learning the language well enough to do business and the all around hardship of starting a new life in a new area of the country that embraces a completely different culture than they've ever experienced. Let's not forget the Klan. First day of business involves waiting to see if the Klan will allow them to conduct business in town or come in before the end of business day and shut them down.
The story is filled with Yiddish-isms and Southern-isms, all mish-mashed together to make a very interesting and fun dialogue. Any book that can find a way to say ya'll and bupkis in the same sentence is a winner with me.
A very good book telling a little bit of history from an immigrant's eyes. How the South welcomed them, while closing doors at the same time.