Debut Author's Historical Novel a Top Jewish Literary Book Club Pick
San Francisco writer's multigenerational story of Russian Jewish immigrant family in twentieth-century America ranks high with Amazon readers.
By: Barbara Artson, Author
SAN FRANCISCO - Dec. 7, 2018 - PRLog -- When Barbara Artson left graduate studies in literature to become a psychoanalyst, she promised to one day write a book. After nearly fifty years, she wrote her novel, Odessa, Odessa, just published this fall (She Writes Press / ISBN 978-1-63152-
Today the novel is a top-ranked seller on Amazon among novels about Jewish literature and life and has received praise in publishing trade and press reviews. The book was a select title featured on JewishBookWorld.org in October and achieved #3 bestseller rank at the venerable Los Angeles Book Soup Bookstore in the first month of publication. Odessa, Odessa continues to be a popular book club read.
"…compelling and important―immigrants like the Kolopskys helped make America into the land readers recognize today." — Kirkus Reviews
"If you prefer brothers to sisters and historical fiction to fantasy, consider Barbara Artson's Odessa, Odessa." —Jewish Review of Books, September Preview
The Women's League for Conservative Judaism has just named Odessa, Odessa its Winter Book selection as part of its "Women's League Reads" program. The book is simultaneously read by member book clubs from the network of over 400 Women's League groups around the world. On January 17, member readers will participate in a live author interview and discussion via an Internet Google Group and will ask questions and comment on the book. To learn more about the Women's League and how to participate, visit http://wlcj.org/
Artson's novel is loosely based on her own family history and tells a story of persecution and family separation when two sons from a proud lineage of rabbis and cantors living in a shtetl in Western Russia flee to find freedom. In the early 1900s, each leaves to escape anti-Semitism, one going to America and the other to Palestine/Israel. The familiar subject of an immigrant family becomes vivid in Artson's telling, with strong characters and dialogue taking readers deep into inner struggles of loss and trauma, to make clear the tension between old and young as each adapt to forced changes and life in a new culture.
Odessa, Odessa reveals the strength and resilience of families as they guide the future generations. From arrival in New York's Brighton Beach, through moves to New Jersey and Los Angeles, the children and grandchildren assimilate. A final pivot to Israel in the 1990s brings the revelation of a lost heritage as the youngest generation makes a discovery that reunites the two branches of the family. The book is an insightful and topical read for today's era and holds special interest for readers of Jewish heritage.