By Lev Golinkin
A compelling tale of 2 intertwined trips: a Jewish refugee relatives fleeing persecution and a tender guy trying to reclaim a shattered earlier. within the twilight of the chilly warfare (the overdue 1980s), nine-year previous Lev Golinkin and his relatives go the Soviet border with in simple terms ten suitcases, $600, and the imprecise promise of aid expecting in Vienna. Years later, Lev, now an American grownup, units out to retrace his family's lengthy trek, find the strangers who fought for his freedom, and within the strategy, achieve a destiny by means of knowing his past.
Lev Golinkin's memoir is the shiny, darkly comedian, and poignant tale of a tender boy within the complicated and infrequently chilling ultimate decade of the Soviet Union. It's additionally the tale of Lev Golinkin, the yank guy who ultimately confronts his buried previous through returning to Austria and jap Europe to trace down the strangers who made his get away attainable . . . and say thanks. Written with biting, acerbic wit and emotional honesty within the vein of Gary Shteyngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, and David Bezmozgis, Golinkin's look for own id set opposed to the relentless currents of heritage is greater than a memoir—it's a portrait of a misplaced period. this can be a exciting story of get away and survival, a deeply own examine the lifetime of a Jewish baby stuck within the final gasp of the Soviet Union, and a provocative research into the facility of hatred and the hunt for belonging. Lev Golinkin achieves an grand feat—and it marks the debut of a fiercely clever, defiant, and unforgettable new voice.
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Extra info for A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir
He was honest with everybody. There’s no more honest man living than Earl Scruggs. If he owes you a dime, he’ll walk in the snow and pay you. There’s not too many of them left, you know. I’ve never seen a woman as smart in business as Earl’s wife, Louise. As an agent, Earl would have been one of the best, but he taught her to do that. That’s what kept them up there. When I come to work with them, Earl handled everything. He taught Louise these things, you know, like how to handle a booking date.
Earl . . Wake up . . ” We had two wrecks, but never did hurt none of us. We was lucky. Them old roads and an old four-banger diesel bus . . wasn’t no interstate then, you know. S. 64 in, I believe it was ’58. I know it was on my wedding anniversary, the 18th of August, and I had to leave that morning. We was going to Franklin, North Carolina. That was the most miserable week I think I’ve ever spent in show business. We wound up in Shelby, North Carolina, Earl’s hometown. It drove the windshield of that bus back to where you couldn’t get your hands between it and the steering wheel, knocked the lights out, and we went on and played 1955–1969, Part 2, Life on the Road and the Breakup 35 in Franklin that night.
Even got Jake Tullock into that. He’d come in with that bass fiddle to sing a part and move right back out. I guess partly my doings done that. I don’t know, but I knew I had to have a hole to get in there, and I wanted them out of there. I weighed 120 pounds, you know. 1955–1969, Part 1, Foggy Mountain Boy 31 Them guys, all of them weighed 200. They’d tromp on you. When a new man would come in, he’d almost get killed before he learned. Our tuning and timing had to be right, and Earl wouldn’t let us pat our feet.
A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir by Lev Golinkin