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I Love Gootie: My Grandmother's Story

Max Apple

50 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0446675970 / ISBN 13: 9780446675970
Published by Warner Books, 2000
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover
From crossborderbooks (Penticton, BC, Canada)

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5" x 8". No dust jacket. 244 pages of excellent text. A very clean copy with no alien markings of any kind. Bookseller Inventory # 003687

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Bibliographic Details

Title: I Love Gootie: My Grandmother's Story

Publisher: Warner Books

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:Fine

About this title


Written with the same emotional power as his critically acclaimed "Roommates, " Apple takes a heartwarming and hilarious look at the life of his grandmother. While much of Gootie's advice was hilariously off-target, she taught Apple about the power of love and the art of storytelling.


"It must have been the Yiddish," muses Max Apple in the introduction to I Love Gootie of the conversation at the Houston Yiddish speakers' club that became the seed of this book. "In her language it seemed easy and natural to talk about her. In English, when I told questioners that my grandma did nothing, it was true--in English. In Yiddish I began to scratch at the richness of that nothing."

In 1994, Max Apple published Roommates: My Grandfather's Story, about his adult years spent with his irascible grandfather Rocky, who was devotedly American in the way that only a naturalized American can be. Gootie, Rocky's sturdy counterpart, always spoke Yiddish and belonged in spirit to Serei, the Lithuanian shtetl which she left behind physically in 1923 when she moved to Grand Rapids. Her extended family life was warm and rich and occasionally problematic. Gootie and young Max--"Mottele" to Gootie, named for the son she had lost--had a relationship almost as remarkable as Max and Rocky's. He worried about holding her hernia together if her body truss should break; she insisted that his 16-year-old female study partner was pregnant and looking for a sucker to marry. When he rebelled against the strictures of Gootie's Michigan shtetl and started hanging out at the local diner, she put on her Persian lamb coat and accompanied him over his embarrassed protests, determined to observe for herself the suspicious attractions of overpriced coffee and teenage aimlessness. But when she had a stroke, Max sat at her bedside and translated Beowulf from Old English to Yiddish, just to keep her company. Her final bequest to him was two bottles of champagne for his wedding and the fine art of telling a grand story. The champagne evaporated, but the spring of stories flows freely. Though she might publicly lament that he never opened a store, Gootie would almost surely be proud.

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