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Russian Immigrants As Inspiration

Dara Horn

T. Cooper

by Pat Arnow

Two young authors have taken the 20th century immigrant Jewish experience as a backdrop for novels. That makes Dara Horn and T. Cooper extraordinarily appropriate writers to launch a reading series called "Young Writers Write the Immigrant Experience" at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum Oct. 11.

Horn's book, The World to Come, features the theft of a Marc Chagall painting by a lonely former child prodigy. The story follows his family from 1920s Russia—where Chagall taught art to orphaned Jewish boys—to New Jersey and Vietnam. The author studied Yiddish literature and used some of what she learned (including the story of Chagall teaching the orphans) in her novel.

Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes by T. Cooper, also follows a Russian Jewish family's history. The refugees of a pogrom lose one of their children, a five-year-old, in the confusion of Ellis Island. The story involves Charles Lindbergh, Eminem, and Texas. The author drew inspiration from several true events in his own family history, including a lost child at Ellis Island.

The authors will read from their novels and talk about their inspiration Wednesday, October 11th, from 6 to 8 PM, at the New York Book Club at The Tenement Visitor’s Center & Museum Shop, 108 Orchard Street (below Delancey). Admission is free but you should reserve a spot by e-mail: asilberman@tenement.org.


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