The Dog Of Memory: A Family Album of Secrets and Silences

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9780874807271: The Dog Of Memory: A Family Album of Secrets and Silences
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Poet and fiction writer Greenberg presents 15 essays, some revised from previous publication, ruminating on self-identity in the familial, spiritual, social, and political planes. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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On his nineteenth birthday, while he was attending college, Greenberg received a birthday card from two aunts of whom he had never heard. His father tells him that the aunts are the sisters of his first wife, the author's mother, who died a slow and painful death giving birth to him in 1932. Greenberg's mother's family had demanded that his father observe the Orthodox Jewish custom of marrying his deceased wife's oldest unmarried sister, but he refused. Greenberg's father then severed all ties with his in-laws and married another woman, who raised the author as her own son. "It was a conspiracy to bury her name and her memory as deep as her remains," Greenberg says, describing how the family photo album was full of blank slots. He describes growing up in Cincinnati, examines the many aspects of self-identity, and writes of what he calls the "perpetual war against loss and disappearance." Greenberg's memoir, filled with lyrical prose and insightful observations, is a joy to read. George Cohen
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