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In My Father's Bakery: A Bronx Memoir

Overview

This beautifully written remembrance restores to life—in all its color, humor and magic—a vanished New York neighborhood of European Jews, Irish Catholics, and others as it was during the Depression and through World War II. The author unrolls before you prizefights in the Bronx Coliseum, baseball in the original Yankee Stadium and pinochle in the bakery backroom. Yet bread, the staff of life, is at the center of this work.

In an easygoing, novelistic style, Mr. Korman delivers ...

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Overview

This beautifully written remembrance restores to life—in all its color, humor and magic—a vanished New York neighborhood of European Jews, Irish Catholics, and others as it was during the Depression and through World War II. The author unrolls before you prizefights in the Bronx Coliseum, baseball in the original Yankee Stadium and pinochle in the bakery backroom. Yet bread, the staff of life, is at the center of this work.

In an easygoing, novelistic style, Mr. Korman delivers such vivid portraits of bakery regulars that you, too, will feel you are in the bakery, eating devil's food cake and eavesdropping (while pretending to do homework) as scenes of crisis or celebration spill before them.

The author's powerful vignettes focus on individuals: among them the grocer, the baker and the local bookmaker. You will also meet a local politico, a lonely wartime wife, gypsy tinsmiths, and a magician—who is not the only closely observed character who pulls surprises out of his hat.

Marvin Korman is too keen a chronicler to serve up mere nostalgia along with the bakery's recipe for butter cookies, the one with the maraschino cherry in the middle that mother mailed to their boys in the service. Mr. Korman's stories are delivered fresh-baked and warm, with irony enough to assure a memorable bite.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780971437241
  • Publisher: Red Rock Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2003
  • Pages: 204
  • Sales rank: 1,048,574
  • Product dimensions: 6.39 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Uncle Maxie Strikes Back 15
Chapter 2 Monday Night Fights 25
Chapter 3 Comrade Taft 36
Chapter 4 Fire Sale 49
Chapter 5 Last Rites? 62
Chapter 6 Amelia's Baby 69
Chapter 7 A Love Affair 79
Chapter 8 The Price of Doing Business 90
Chapter 9 Hawk 99
Chapter 10 The Magician 107
Chapter 11 The Bookie's Mistake 119
Chapter 12 The Dancing Gypsies 128
Chapter 13 War Casualties 139
Chapter 14 This Funny Thing Called Love 150
Chapter 15 John's Secret 160
Chapter 16 The Genius 171
Chapter 17 Arnie, Or Is It Armando? 185
Chapter 18 Lil & Phyll 195
Epilogue 207
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2004

    Lovely and poignant stories of growing up just before WW II WW II

    I recently finished this wonderful book and it is sitting by my wife¿s bedside waiting for her to get to it. Each of the stories has a plot of sorts and they are simply told and arranged with great skill. They are basically stories about the characters that inhabited the author¿s youth and the Bronx bakery owned by his family. The stories concern the family and employees who worked in the bakery, the customers, suppliers and locals whom the author observed while doing his homework in the bakery¿s back room. Through these characters, the author has successfully made the bakery itself and the life that swirled around it into a living ¿character.¿ On the most basic level, the book will have a nostalgic appeal to New Yorkers who grew up in similar neighborhoods during the later 1930s and 1940s. To the nostalgic reader of today this book will recapture what they recall to have been a quieter and more innocent time, but, the high level of the story telling insures that other readers will appreciate the internal and external struggles that the characters lived through during times of depression and war. The book is graceful, often poignant, and good humored throughout, and for about a week it sent me off to slumberland with a satisfied smile on my face.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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