Kith and Kin

Andre Kaminski, Author, Harry Zohn, Translator Fromm International $19.95 (311p) ISBN 978-0-88064-104-3
This amusing family chronicle, actually a memoir thinly disguised as fiction, begins with the marriage of Kaminski's maternal grandparents and ends with his own birth in 1923. The foibles of Leo Rosenbach and his shrewish wife are ironically and unsparingly portrayed; Malva, their daughter, an independent girl with socialist leanings who becomes one of the first women Viennese pharmacists, fares better. On the author's paternal side, wealthy Polish manufacturer Yankel Kaminski disowns his 11 sons for revolutionary activities, allowing them to be deported to Siberia. The brothers escape to America and become the first Jewish soccer team. Hershele, the author's father, returns to Europe intending to take part in the Russian Revolution but meets and marries Malva instead. Thus the two families are joined. Kaminski's broad humor and affectionately drawn portraits of his socialist parents make this a lively narrative. A bestseller in Europe, this first novel is as much a reflection on the Jewish diaspora as on the author's own family history. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
Genre: Fiction
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