William D. Kaufman
With Forewords by Baruch Feldstern and Peter Pitzele
"A natural story teller with a distinctive voice....Kaufman unfolds his tales with much color and wit."
—The Jewish Week
Praise for The Day My Mother Changed Her Name...
"Kaufman’s voice is original, kindhearted, and funny."
"With a sharp wit, detail, and a colorful life to
draw experiences from, Kaufman has written a winner
that epitomizes the oddities found in Jewish life."
—Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter
The lasting charm of Kaufman’s stories lies in a delightful mix of personal
incidents and observations set against an anchoring backdrop of cultural
tradition. His new collection is filled with tales from his parents’ homeland
in the Ukraine, his own childhood reminiscences, and his adult travels.
We watch the young author forced alongside "every Jewish boy on the
block" to emulate Yehudi Menuhin on a ten-dollar violin with a moldy
bow until the boy is spared by an innate lack of talent and his father’s
judgment of his concert: "Enough is enough is more than enough." Kaufman
is carefully attuned to the awkwardness of adulthood as well as to
that of early adolescence. In "Interlude in Bangkok," his narrator scours
the city for a synagogue while pursued by a prostitute. Later he and a
friend encounter Greta Garbo in a museum café and are too frightened
to approach her. "I am not she," intones the mysterious movie star, and
in his own way, Kaufman says that of himself in these stories through an
autobiographical narrator whose memories take on resonant, literary
shapes in their retelling.
View other books in the Library of Modern Jewish Literature series
William D. Kaufman’s first collection of short stories, The Day My Mother
Changed Her Name, was published by Syracuse University Press in
2008. His stories have also appeared in Forward, Moment, and
Columbia Magazine. Kaufman was a professional fund-raiser at the
Jewish Theological Seminary until his retirement.
6 x 9, 176 pages, glossary