Dough: A Memoir

Mort Zachter, Author . Univ. of Georgia $24.95 (173p) ISBN 978-0-8203-2934-5

After losing his job as an accountant, enrolling in night law school and taking out a second mortgage to support his family, Zachter answered the phone in 1994 and was asked by a banker if he would like to take control of his uncle Harry's seven-figure money market account. What he at first assumed was a practical joke turned out to be true—Harry had been living like a pauper in a housing project while running a “day-old bread store” on New York's Lower East Side for 60 years. Zachter's memoir alternates between his imaginings of daily life at the bakery from the 1940s through the '60s and his unearthing of his family's financial secrets in the 1990s. Upon stumbling on a stockpile of crumbling two-dollar bills stashed away in Harry's fruitcake boxes, a relative jokes that Zachter really is from old money. In seeking to reconcile decades of financial stress with his sudden inheritance, Zachter notes, “Multiple lifetimes of nothing but hard work and deprivation had amassed this fortune. But what good had it done?” The answer, he decides after realizing that he will never have to worry about paying the bills, is in “the gift of time” to write this book. This rich story pays off with honest but lighthearted discoveries about loyalty and wealth. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 194 pages - 978-0-06-166341-3
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-986-173-540-5
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-8203-3570-4
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