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The UnAmericans


by Molly Antopol

The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol X
The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2014, 272 pages

    Oct 2014, 272 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte
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There are currently 2 reader reviews for The UnAmericans
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Power Reviewer
Cathryn Conroy

Read It! Compelling and Intelligently-Written
I have recently discovered the joys of reading a well-written short story collection. Short stories are a tough sell to readers. The writer has to reel in the reader fast--in the first few sentences, ideally. And when each story ends, often abruptly, the next one had better have a riveting first sentence to clear away the hangover caused the previous story's ending.

Molly Antopol does this magnificently in her collection "The UnAmericans," eight stories about Eastern European Jews who either live in the United States or have a connection to it--albeit quite a slim connection in two of the stories that are set in Israel. The characters have been powerfully shaped by political events in their country of origin or by the violence of history that personally touched them. They are, for the most part, dissidents and intellectuals. For those who fled to the United States, they had to reinvent themselves as Americans. But are they treated as Americans? Not always. Hence, the "UnAmericans" designation.

There is heartbreak and humor, passion and pain, sympathy and solace in this compelling and intelligently-written collection that explores what we have in common as humans: our relationships to one another. And that is true no matter where we were born.

P.S. "My Grandmother Tells Me This Story" is worth the price of the book alone!
Power Reviewer
Diane S

The Unamericans
3.5 The thread connecting all these stories is that of the immigrant, hence unamericans. They take place in different times and places. Ordinary people often caught up in matters beyond their control, how tenuous are the connections between people and how they react to these changed circumstances. All looking for clues, their own road maps for the future.

These stories are extremely well written, some seem to be so fully contained they seemed much longer than they appear, fully realized stories. I for some reason, found myself drawn to the story, "Minor Heroes, even though it was rather sad, based on a personal tragedy, I identified with Oren. Though really all the stories are very good and this is definitely a writer to watch.
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