China Dreams: Growing Up Jewish in Tientsin (Singular Lives) by Isabelle Maynard

By Isabelle Maynard

What does it suggest to be "thrice alien"? Isabelle Zimmer Maynard is one that is familiar with. Born in 1929 in Tientsin, China, Maynard used to be the single baby of Russian Jewish mom and dad who had fled the Communists and sought shelter during this teeming urban at the North China Sea. They thus survived the japanese invasion of China and eventually escaped to San Francisco while the chinese language Communists seized energy. China desires, like a string of beguiling pearls, is a set of autobiographical tales of an grand formative years. Maynard's skill to reconstruct her global within the second will satisfaction and enchant readers. She says, "I have carried China all my lifestyles. i don't declare accuracy of heritage - basically accuracy of the heart." Her prepared eye and fetching wit offer an arresting, poignant, hugely own portrait of a now-vanished international as soon as shared by way of hundreds of thousands of ecu Jews.

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Just as I was about to doze off, I saw a shadow in my doorway. ) A small bundle of fear settled in my ribs as I watched this ghostly apparition. It did not move, just kept looking in my direction. Then he started crooning a song, the words of which I could not understand, but they were strangely soothing and vaguely familiar. I fell asleep. Early next morning, on my way to the bathroom, I met Braverman in the hall. It was earlier than my usual time, and I expect that he had not anticipated seeing me.

Series. 154004924'00922DC20 [B]96-24321 CIP 01 00 99 98 97 96 C 5 4 3 2 1 01 00 99 98 97 96 P 5 4 3 2 1 Page v To my parents, SOPHIE AND DAVID ZIMMERMAN, with love and admiration Page vii CONTENTS Foreword by Albert E. Stone ix Acknowledgments xv Prologue xvii I. Beginnings Origins 3 My Amah 10 First Day of School 13 Mimosas Provide Shade 15 Land of Outcasts 22 Braverman, DP 23 The Pig and I 35 Quarantine 37 Opaque Windows 49 Pei-tai-ho Summers 57 The Pursuit of Music 60 "We Must Return the Hospitality" 63 Figurines, Delicate 73 December 8, 1941 83 Page viii II.

Now a young woman, Isabelle returns to center stage as the family's financial mainstay and hope. Her narrative concludes on a bitter note. Little of the fabled beauty and Page xiv freedom of San Francisco survives as the fresh immigrants struggle through a series of depressing jobs. My mother gets up to bring more soup. The stuffed cabbage rolls sizzle gently in their juice behind me on the stove. From the hallway we hear Mrs. Bosak's muffled voice making connections to our future. "Salute! " my father says, lifting his cup of orange juice.

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