Winner of the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award
Winner of the American Library Association's Sophie Brody Medal
Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award
A singularly talented writer makes his literary debut with this provocative, soulful, and sometimes hilarious story of a failed journalist asked to do the unthinkable: Forge Holocaust-restitution claims for old Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York.
Yevgeny Gelman, grandfather of Slava Gelman, âdidnât suffer in the exact wayâ he needs to have suffered to qualify for the restitution the German government has been paying out to Holocaust survivors. But suffer he hasâas a Jew in the war; as a second-class citizen in the USSR; as an immigrant to America. So? Isnât his grandson a âwriterâ?
High-minded Slava wants to put all this immigrant scraping behind him. Only the American Dream is not panning out for himâCentury, the legendary magazine where he works as a researcher, wants nothing greater from him. Slava wants to be a correct, blameless Americanâbut he wants to be a lionized writer even more.
Slavaâs turn as the Forger of South Brooklyn teaches him that not every fact is the truth, and not every lie a falsehood. It takes more than law-abiding to become an American; it takes the same self-reinvention in which his people excel. Intoxicated and unmoored by his inventions, Slava risks exposure. Cornered, he commits an irrevocable act that finally grants him a sense of home in America, but not before collecting a price from his family.
A Replacement LifeÂ is a dark, moving, and beautifully written novel about family, honor, and justice.
About: Winner of the VCU Cabell First Novelist AwardWinner of the American Library Association's Sophie Brody MedalFinalist for the National Jewish Book AwardA singularly talented writer makes his literary debut with this provocative, soulful, and sometimes hilarious story of a failed journalist asked to do the unthinkable: Forge Holocaust-restitution claims for old Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York.
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