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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: On the Landing

January 2, 2020 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: On the Landing
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 List: On the Landing by Yenta Masha

The last book on my Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 list is Yenta Mash’s On the Landing, one of the best Yiddish writers you’ve never heard of, whose short stories were translated into English by Ellen Cassedy.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Through Soviet Jewish Eyes

December 31, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Through Soviet Jewish Eyes
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 List: Through Soviet Jewish Eyes by David Shneer

My next selection for the Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 is Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust, by historian David Shneer, which uncovers the role of Jewish photographers in the Soviet photography industry.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Little Failure

December 30, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Little Failure
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 List: Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart

Little Failure: A Memoir, by Gary Shteyngart, is my next book on the Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 list. It’s not the first or only Russian-Jewish memoir. No, its significance lies in its ability to capture the complexities of becoming an American (and does so in a way that resonates for Canadian readers, too), and leaving behind the Soviet world.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: small things left behind

December 29, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: small things left behind
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SovietJewish Decade Top 10 List: small things left behind by Ella Zeltserman

My seventh book for the Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 is an award-winning poetry book, small things left behind. Full disclosure — the author is my mother, Ella Zeltserman. This is my most deeply personal, and yes, very biased, selection for the list.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking

December 28, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking
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SovietJewish Decade Top 10 - Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya von Bremzen

The next book on my Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 list is Anya von Bremzen’s culinary memoir, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing, which brings fresh meaning to the food on our tables.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: A Replacement Life

December 26, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: A Replacement Life
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 - A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman

Today’s pick for the Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10 list is Boris Fishman’s A Replacement Life. I first read it in 2014 when it came out, and somehow, with the politics of the last few years, the book feels more important now than it did then — less for the insight into Slava’s split identity, and more for the close-up of his grandfather’s generation.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Breaking Stalin’s Nose

December 25, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Breaking Stalin’s Nose
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Soviet Jewish Decade Top 10 Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin

My third pick for the top works in the Soviet-Jewish world this decade is Breaking Stalin’s Nose, by Eugene Yelchin. It’s one of the very few books for kids about the Soviet period, and explains the mechanisms of the Stalinist era the eyes of a 10-year-old.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Yiddish Glory

December 24, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: Yiddish Glory
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top Picks - Yiddish Glory album

My second pick for the top Soviet-Jewish works of the past decade is Yiddish Glory: Lost Songs of World War II, which has completely changed what we thought we knew about how Soviet Jews made sense of the war. Its significance cannot be overstated.

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Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: When They Come For Us We’ll Be Gone

December 23, 2019 / Comments Off on Soviet-Jewish Decade Top 10: When They Come For Us We’ll Be Gone
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Soviet-Jewish Decade Gal Beckerman book

My first selection for the top 10 Russian-Jewish works of the decade is journalist Gal Beckerman’s When They Come For Us, We’ll Be Gone. Published in 2010, the book was — and remains — the first and most comprehensive history of the Soviet-Jewry movement. It won the National Jewish Book Award and the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, and was named a book of the year by the Washington Post.

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Announcing the Soviet-Jewish Decade: A 2010s Top 10

December 23, 2019 /
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Soviet-Jewish Decade image of bookshelf full of Russian-Jewish books

As the decade comes to a close, I’m looking back at how the Russian-Jewish world has changed. Ten years on, we’re awash in words, in music, in art, in film, and more coming out all the time.

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