In 1974, the year Richard Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment, my father, a man with rabbinic aspirations, was deep in his own pickle, indicted for conspiracy and fraud in the federal summer school lunch program.
For a time, “The Jews of Waterbury, Connecticut” was an exhibit at a museum in Waterbury. Not so long ago, my mother, a Jew of Waterbury, Connecticut, went to this exhibit’s opening.
Three years ago, when his mother announced that she was flying to Moscow to adopt a seven-year-old girl, Stewart did his best not to react. His mother had always been the kind of person who made threats, who cajoled and coerced, until she got her way.
The friendship is both tender and antagonistic, deeply intimate and full of spite, and Elena reflects on the difficulty of telling her own story without Lila in it. There is Lila’s story and there is Elena’s story, but Elena realizes the two are inextricable.
The plan was to torch the rose patch. We could, at this point, see no other way. Flickerdot, our beloved hybrid, was a complete bust. But one couldn’t blame us for being fooled: the first and second generations were so thick with blooms that Jamie could put a book—an Oxford dictionary, no less—on the plant and the dense flowers would hold it up.