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Gender Studies Ebooks

Family Fiction

Downloads: 281         Pages: 284

Published: 4 years ago

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The Shays of New Rochelle, N.Y., would seem to be a ``good'' family. Judd, the father, works in the lucrative family business; Margaret, the mother, is active in the Episcopalian church; Mag and Harris, the kids, do well in school. But their little secret is their original name: Schanberg. What becomes of lives built on such ``family fictions'' is the subject of Hall's unswerving novel about discovering Jewish roots. Starting in the '30s, Margaret, driven by feelings of inferiority, begins making alterations (a move from New York City to the suburbs; joining the church), which culminate in the name change. Hall's relentless and unsentimental exploration shows wasted potential and shattered lives. Although Mag and especially Harris, whose sexuality prompts him to come to terms with his identity, still have a chance for happiness, it's in spite of their sad birthright: ``pent-up hatred, ancient enmities

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Richard Hall

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