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Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)

0679781587


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Book Review
According to Arthur Golden's absorbing first novel, the word "geisha" does not mean "prostitute," as Westerners ignorantly assume--it means "artisan" or "artist." To capture the geisha experience in the art of fiction, Golden trained as long and hard as any geisha who must master the arts of music, dance, clever conversation, crafty battle with rival beauties, and cunning seduction of wealthy patrons. After earning degrees in Japanese art and history from Harvard and Columbia--and an M.A. in English--he met a man in Tokyo who was the illegitimate offspring of a renowned businessman and a geisha. This meeting inspired Golden to spend 10 years researching every detail of geisha culture, chiefly relying on the geisha Mineko Iwasaki, who spent years charming the very rich and famous.

The result is a...



Them: A Memoir of Parents
Francine Du Plessix Gray
1594200491
May 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. "My mother enjoyed claiming direct descent from Genghis Khan," Gray explains as she opens this complex and rewarding family memoir. That claim gave her mother "both the aristocratic pedigree and the freedom to be a barbarian." Tatiana Yakovleva du Plessix Liberman was 19 and hungry in 1925 when she left the Soviet Union for France. Tatiana and Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky soon fell passionately in love, but the ever-practical woman married aristocratic Frenchman Bertrand du Plessix instead. They had one child, Francine, before du Plessix was killed in early WWII combat. Tatiana then became involved with Alexander Liberman, a British- and French-educated artistic Jewish-Russian émigré. Alex, Tatiana and Francine fled to New York in 1941 and started a new life—Tatiana...


Marley & Me
John Grogan
0060817089
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Labrador retrievers are generally considered even-tempered, calm and reliable;and then there's Marley, the subject of this delightful tribute to one Lab who doesn't fit the mold. Grogan, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and his wife, Jenny, were newly married and living in West Palm Beach when they decided that owning a dog would give them a foretaste of the parenthood they anticipated. Marley was a sweet, affectionate puppy who grew into a lovably naughty, hyperactive dog. With a light touch, the author details how Marley was kicked out of obedience school after humiliating his instructor (whom Grogan calls Miss Dominatrix) and swallowed an 18-karat solid gold necklace (Grogan describes his gross but hilarious "recovery operation"). With the arrival of children in the family, Marley became so incorrigible that Jenny,...


Memoirs of a Geisha
Arthur Golden
1400096898
November 2005
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review
According to Arthur Golden's absorbing first novel, the word "geisha" does not mean "prostitute," as Westerners ignorantly assume--it means "artisan" or "artist." To capture the geisha experience in the art of fiction, Golden trained as long and hard as any geisha who must master the arts of music, dance, clever conversation, crafty battle with rival beauties, and cunning seduction of wealthy patrons. After earning degrees in Japanese art and history from Harvard and Columbia--and an M.A. in English--he met a man in Tokyo who was the illegitimate offspring of a renowned businessman and a geisha. This meeting inspired Golden to spend 10 years researching every detail of geisha culture, chiefly relying on the geisha Mineko Iwasaki, who spent years charming the very rich and famous.

...



Shattered--Married to an Ill Person: How Mental Illness and Paranoia Schizophrenia Ruined my Marriage: A Memoir [DOWNLOAD: ADOBE READER]

B00006JOI6


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Night
Elie Wiesel
0553272535
Mar 1982
(Paperback) - Anniv. Ed.
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Book Review
In Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel's memoir Night, a scholarly, pious teenager is wracked with guilt at having survived the horror of the Holocaust and the genocidal campaign that consumed his family. His memories of the nightmare world of the death camps present him with an intolerable question: how can the God he once so fervently believed in have allowed these monstrous events to occur? There are no easy answers in this harrowing book, which probes life's essential riddles with the lucid anguish only great literature achieves. It marks the crucial first step in Wiesel's lifelong project to bear witness for those who died.

Review
"To  the best of my knowledge no one has left behind him  so moving a record." -- Alfred...


Memoirs of a Geisha [LARGE PRINT]

0739326228


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Review
"Astonishing . . . breathtaking . . . You are seduced completely." —Washington Post Book World

"Captivating, minutely imagined . . . a novel that refuses to stay shut." —Newsweek

"A story with the social vibrancy and narrative sweep of a much-loved 19th century bildungsroman. . . . This is a high-wire act. . . . Rarely has a world so closed and foreign been evoked with such natural assurance." —The New Yorker


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Book Description
In this literary tour de force, novelist Arthur Golden enters a remote and shimmeringly exotic world. For the protagonist of this peerlessly observant first novel is Sayuri, one of Japan's most celebrated geisha, a woman who is both performer and...


Running with Scissors: A Memoir
Augusten Burroughs
031242227X
June 2003
Paperback
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Book Review
There is a passage early in Augusten Burroughs's harrowing and highly entertaining memoir, Running with Scissors, that speaks volumes about the author. While going to the garbage dump with his father, young Augusten spots a chipped, glass-top coffee table that he longs to bring home. "I knew I could hide the chip by fanning a display of magazines on the surface, like in a doctor's office," he writes, "And it certainly wouldn't be dirty after I polished it with Windex for three hours." There were certainly numerous chips in the childhood Burroughs describes: an alcoholic father, an unstable mother who gives him up for adoption to her therapist, and an adolescence spent as part of the therapist's eccentric extended family, gobbling prescription meds and fooling around with both an old electroshock machine and a pedophile who...


Confessions of a Video Vixen
Karrine Steffans
0060842423
July 2005
Hardcover
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--South Florida Sun Sentinel
"An easy, entertaining read... a cautionary tale that contains a timeless message to a new generation of women."

Book Description
Part tell-all, part cautionary tale, this emotionally charged memoir from a former video vixen nicknamed 'Superhead' goes beyond the glamour of celebrity to reveal the inner workings of the hip-hop dancer industry - from the physical and emotional abuse that's rampant in the industry, and which marked her own life - to the excessive use of drugs, sex and bling.  Once the sought-after video girl, this sexy siren has helped multi-platinum artists, such as Jay-Z, R. Kelly and LL Cool J, sell millions of albums with her sensual dancing. In a word, Karrine was H-O-T. So hot that she made as much as $2500 a day in videos and was selected...


The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion
140004314X
Jan 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Many will greet this taut, clear-eyed memoir of grief as a long-awaited return to the terrain of Didion's venerated, increasingly rare personal essays. The author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem and 11 other works chronicles the year following the death of her husband, fellow writer John Gregory Dunne, from a massive heart attack on December 30, 2003, while the couple's only daughter, Quintana, lay unconscious in a nearby hospital suffering from pneumonia and septic shock. Dunne and Didion had lived and worked side by side for nearly 40 years, and Dunne's death propelled Didion into a state she calls "magical thinking." "We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss," she writes. "We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and...


Tis: A Memoir
Frank McCourt
0684865742
August 2000
Paperback
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Book Review
The sequel to Frank McCourt's memoir of his Irish Catholic boyhood, Angela's Ashes, picks up the story in October 1949, upon his arrival in America. Though he was born in New York, the family had returned to Ireland due to poor prospects in the United States. Now back on American soil, this awkward 19-year-old, with his "pimply face, sore eyes, and bad teeth," has little in common with the healthy, self-assured college students he sees on the subway and dreams of joining in the classroom. Initially, his American experience is as harrowing as his impoverished youth in Ireland, including two of the grimmest Christmases ever described in literature. McCourt views the U.S. through the same sharp eye and with the same dark humor that distinguished his first memoir: race prejudice, casual cruelty, and dead-end jobs weigh on his...


My Life in France
Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
1400043468
April 4, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. With Julia Child's death in 2004 at age 91, her grandnephew Prud'homme (The Cell Game) completed this playful memoir of the famous chef's first, formative sojourn in France with her new husband, Paul Child, in 1949. The couple met during WWII in Ceylon, working for the OSS, and soon after moved to Paris, where Paul worked for the U.S. Information Service. Child describes herself as a "rather loud and unserious Californian," 36, six-foot-two and without a word of French, while Paul was 10 years older, an urbane, well-traveled Bostonian. Startled to find the French amenable and the food delicious, Child enrolled at the Cordon Bleu and toiled with increasing zeal under the rigorous tutelage of éminence grise Chef Bugnard. "Jackdaw Julie," as Paul called her, collected every manner of...


Teacher Man
Frank McCourt
0743243773
Nov 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
For 30 years Frank McCourt taught high school English in New York City and for much of that time he considered himself a fraud. During these years he danced a delicate jig between engaging the students, satisfying often bewildered administrators and parents, and actually enjoying his job. He tried to present a consistent image of composure and self-confidence, yet he regularly felt insecure, inadequate, and unfocused. After much trial and error, he eventually discovered what was in front of him (or rather, behind him) all along--his own experience. "My life saved my life," he writes. "My students didn't know there was a man up there escaping a cocoon of Irish history and Catholicism, leaving bits of that cocoon everywhere." At the beginning of his career it had never occurred to him that his own dismal upbringing in the slums of Limerick...


This Boy's Life: A Memoir
Tobias Wolff
0802136680
March 2000
Paperback
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Book Review
Fiction writer Tobias Wolff electrified critics with his scarifying 1989 memoir, which many deemed as notable for its artful structure and finely wrought prose as for the events it describes. The story is pretty grim: Teenaged Wolff moves with his divorced mother from Florida to Utah to Washington State to escape her violent boyfriend. When she remarries, Wolff finds himself in a bitter battle of wills with his abusive stepfather, a contest in which the two prove to be more evenly matched than might have been supposed. Deception, disguise, and illusion are the weapons the young man learns to employ as he grows up--not bad training for a writer-to-be. Somber though this tale of family strife is, it is also darkly funny and so artistically satisfying that most readers come away exhilarated rather than depressed. --This...


My Friend Leonard
James Frey
1573223158
July 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
In the bold and heartbreaking My Friend Leonard, James Frey picks up the story of his extraordinary life pretty much where things left off in his breakout bestseller and Book Review Best Book of 2003, A Million Little Pieces, the fierce, in-your-face memoir about Frey's kamikaze run of self-destruction and his days in rehab. Fresh from a stint in jail from pre-rehab-related charges ("On my first day in jail, a three hundred pound man named Porterhouse hit me in the back of the head with a metal tray."), clean-living Frey returns to Chicago and gets sucker-punched with a cruel blow that will leave readers ducking for cover in anticipation of the blinding bender that's sure to come. But then the titular Leonard, the larger-than-life Vegas mobster ("West Coast Director of a large Italian finance firm") whom James befriended in rehab, steps into...


Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
Adeline Yen Mah
0767903579
May 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
Snow White's stepmother looks like a pussycat compared to the monster under which Adeline Yen Mah suffered. The author's memoir of life in mainland China and--after the 1949 revolution--Hong Kong is a gruesome chronicle of nonstop emotional abuse from her wealthy father and his beautiful, cruel second wife. Chinese proverbs scattered throughout the text pithily covey the traditional world view that prompted Adeline's subservience. Had she not escaped to America, where she experienced a fulfilling medical career and a happy marriage, her story would be unbearable; instead, it's grimly fascinating: Falling Leaves is an Asian Mommie Dearest. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly
Although the focus of this memoir is the author's...


The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists
Neil Strauss
0060554738
September 1, 2005
Leather Bound
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From Publishers Weekly
[Signature]Reviewed by Amy SohnI never dated Neil Strauss, but I dated guys like him. Like many New York women, I have always gone for balding, pale guys because they're grateful and good in bed. But a few years ago, a distraught Strauss decided he was a loser with women and set about transforming himself into the world's greatest pick-up artist. The Game is his long, often tedious but hilarious account of how he did it. This ugly-duckling tale will affect different readers in different ways, depending on their degree of cynicism: some will be awed by Strauss's ménage-à-trois snowball scene, while others will suspect it was cribbed from a third-rate porno Strauss watched in his pre-macking days.When his story begins Strauss is, well, a Neil: an unconfident, self-described AFC (average frustrated chump). He is also,...


Dean and Me
Jerry Lewis
0767920864
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Over the course of their 10-year partnership, Lewis and Dean Martin made 16 wildly popular movies (they were the world's number one box office earners from 1950 to 1956), but their real strength was their performances in nightclubs, theaters and on television. Audiences found their mixture of music and ad-libbed, irreverent comedic pandemonium intoxicating. The duo's fascinating kinship—Lewis idolized his partner, while Martin was aloof—has been chronicled in Shawn Levy's King of Comedy and Nick Tosches's Dino, but Lewis wants to give his late partner the credit he feels critics missed by always praising the "the monkey" rather than the straight man. Untangling the complicated union, Lewis doesn't spare himself, admitting that when the team's relationship unraveled (they weren't speaking between scenes on their last...


The Summer of Ordinary Ways: A Memoir
Nicole Lea Helget
0873515439
October 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Helget's debut begins with a staggering example of her father's brutality: he mercilessly beats a cow to death for not weaning her calf. Yet Helget refuses to succumb to a "woe is me" attitude, and she layers vignettes to create a lyrical story of growing up on a Minnesota farm in the 1980s, where her mother verges on insanity, her five unruly younger sisters get underfoot, and death is a familiar part of life. The memoir's charm lies in Helget's dulcet use of language; even as she describes the century-old death of a little girl accidentally buried alive, her words sing: "Colors explode behind her lids, the colors of poppies and apples and straw and cantaloupe and leaves and Monarchs and stars and sky. And yet... she struggles to open her eyes.... it's black where she is." The amalgamation of reminiscences...


Eat, Pray, Love : One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Elizabeth Gilbert
0670034711
February 16, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Gilbert (The Last American Man) grafts the structure of romantic fiction upon the inquiries of reporting in this sprawling yet methodical travelogue of soul-searching and self-discovery. Plagued with despair after a nasty divorce, the author, in her early 30s, divides a year equally among three dissimilar countries, exploring her competing urges for earthly delights and divine transcendence. First, pleasure: savoring Italy's buffet of delights—the world's best pizza, free-flowing wine and dashing conversation partners—Gilbert consumes la dolce vita as spiritual succor. "I came to Italy pinched and thin," she writes, but soon fills out in waist and soul. Then, prayer and ascetic rigor: seeking communion with the divine at a sacred ashram in India, Gilbert emulates the ways of yogis...


A Million Little Pieces
James Frey
0385507755
Apr 2003
Hardcover
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Book Review
News from Doubleday & Anchor Books

The controversy over James Frey's A Million Little Pieces has caused serious concern at Doubleday and Anchor Books. Recent interpretations of our previous statement notwithstanding, it is not the policy or stance of this company that it doesn’t matter whether a book sold as nonfiction is true. A nonfiction book should adhere to the facts as the author knows them.

It is, however, Doubleday and Anchor's policy to stand with our authors when accusations are initially leveled against their work, and we continue to believe this is right and proper. A publisher's relationship with an author is based to an extent on trust. Mr. Frey's repeated representations of the book's accuracy, throughout publication and promotion, assured us that everything in it was true to...



Jesus Land: A Memoir
Julia Scheeres
1582433380
September 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Journalist Scheeres offers a frank and compelling portrait of growing up as a white girl with two adopted black brothers in 1970s rural Indiana, and of her later stay with one of them at a Christian reform school in the Dominican Republic. The book takes its title from a homemade sign that Scheeres and the brother closest to her in age and temperament, David, spot one day on a road in the Hoosier countryside, proclaiming, "This here is: JESUS LAND." And while religion is omnipresent both at their school and in the home of their devout parents, the two rarely find themselves the beneficiaries of anything resembling Christian love. One of the elements that make Scheeres's book so successful is her distanced, uncritical tone in relaying deeply personal and clearly painful events from her life. She...


For Laci
Sharon Rocha
0307338282
Jan 2006
Hardcover
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Book Description
Every mother’s worst fear became Sharon Rocha’s reality. On Christmas Eve 2002, she received a phone call from her son-in-law saying that her daughter, Laci, was missing. In the hours, days, and eventually months that followed, Sharon struggled to avoid accepting what no parent should ever have to face: the certain knowledge that her child is never coming home. In For Laci, for the first time, Sharon tells us what it was like to live through the long nightmare and opens our hearts to the Laci she loved: the kindergarten artist, the tenth grader who cried on her mother’s lap after her first breakup, the young woman who planned her wedding with joyful enthusiasm.

At the time of her disappearance, Laci was twenty-seven years old, seven and a half months pregnant, and a vibrant presence in...


The Ride of Our Lives : Roadside Lessons of an American Family
Mike Leonard
0345481488
April 18, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Fans of NBC News correspondent Leonard's slice-of-life features for the Today show may enjoy this account of a month-long road trip he took with his parents, now in their 80s. (A DVD of the journey accompanies the book.) But what works on screen doesn't translate to the printed page, and Leonard's attempt to merge a tribute to his parents with greater issues of life and death hits a dead end. As he drives from Chicago through the Southwest, up the East Coast and back to Chicago, Leonard intertwines his reflections with biographical stories by and about his somewhat eccentric parents. Their tales offer the book's most entertaining moments: phlegmatic Jack, who's "conversational 'off' button got jammed," likes to sing old songs, while gregarious Marge likes to drink and repeatedly spices her conversation with...


Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption
Christopher Kennedy Lawford
0060732482
September 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
[Signature]Reviewed by Sara NelsonPity the poor shelver who has to decide where to put this book. Does it go with the wall full of Kennedyana, the tell-alls and critiques of the family America loves to hate and hates to love? Or does it go into the ever increasing "recovery" section of the memoir department, packed as it is with tales of debauchery, and finally, painful and hard-won sobriety?Because this offering, by the 50-year-old nephew of President Kennedy, son of the late actor Peter Lawford, and cousin of the late American prince, JFK Jr. (how's that for a legacy to live with?), is both of those things, it is hard to categorize, and harder to resist. There's plenty of dish here, even if it is dish of the gentle, almost old-fashioned variety. (Lawford tells of being taught to do the twist by Marilyn Monroe; of spying, as a...


The Tender Bar : A Memoir
J.R. Moehringer
1401300642
September 1, 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
"Long before it legally served me, the bar saved me," asserts J.R. Moehringer, and his compelling memoir The Tender Bar is the story of how and why. A Pulitzer-Prize winning writer for the Los Angeles Times, Moehringer grew up fatherless in pub-heavy Manhasset, New York, in a ramshackle house crammed with cousins and ruled by an eccentric, unkind grandfather. Desperate for a paternal figure, he turns first to his father, a DJ whom he can only access via the radio (Moehringer calls him The Voice and pictures him as "talking smoke"). When The Voice suddenly disappears from the airwaves, Moehringer turns to his hairless Uncle Charlie, and subsequently, Uncle Charlie's place of employment--a bar called Dickens that soon takes center stage. While Moehringer may occasionally resort to an overwrought metaphor (the...


The Color of Water
James McBride
1573225789
Feb 1997
Paperback
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Book Review
Order this book ... and please don't be put off by its pallid subtitle, A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, which doesn't begin to do justice to the utterly unique and moving story contained within. The Color of Water tells the remarkable story of Ruth McBride Jordan, the two good men she married, and the 12 good children she raised. Jordan, born Rachel Shilsky, a Polish Jew, immigrated to America soon after birth; as an adult she moved to New York City, leaving her family and faith behind in Virginia. Jordan met and married a black man, making her isolation even more profound. The book is a success story, a testament to one woman's true heart, solid values, and indomitable will. Ruth Jordan battled not only racism but also poverty to raise her children and, despite being sorely tested, never wavered. In...


Letters to Sam: A Grandfather's Lesson on Love, Loss, and the Gifts of Life
Daniel Gottlieb
1402728832
April 2006
Hardcover
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My Life So Far
Jane Fonda
0375507108
April 5, 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
One of the most recognizable women of our time, America knows Jane Fonda as actress, activist, feminist, wife, and workout guru. In her extraordinary memoir, Fonda divides her life into three acts: her childhood, early films, and first marriage make up act one; her growing career in film, marriage to Ted Turner, and involvement in the Vietnam War belong to act two; and the third act belongs to the future, in which she hopes to "begin living consciously," and inspire others who can learn from her experiences. Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths that she hopes "can provide a lens through which others can see their lives and how they can live them a little differently." Exclusive Letter from Jane Fonda
Stay in Shape: The Jane Fonda Collection
New Workouts
The Complete...


Sweet and Low : A Family Story
Rich Cohen
0374272298
April 4, 2006
Hardcover
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Book Review
Rich Cohen's Sweet and Low bills itself as "the unauthorized true story of one Brooklyn family." And what a family. Cohen, the disinherited grandson of the artificial sweetener Sweet'N Low's inventor, combines two parts Horatio Alger memoir, one part cultural commentary, and three parts personal criticism into a fascinating snapshot of American life, the immigrant experience, and a broad sermon on the perils of fortune.

Cohen's maternal grandfather, Ben Eisenstadt, a mid-grade inventor and Brooklyn restaurateur concocts the idea of selling sugar in individual packets--a revolutionary concept in the age of crusty, unsanitary sugar dispensers. His idea stolen by the big sugar companies, Cohen squeaks out a post-war living selling his packets in their shadow until he and his son Marvin invent the formula for the...


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