Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dough - A Book Review

Dough is an entertaining memoir by Mort Zacher about coming to terms with your family's eccentricities. Zachter grew up poor in the shadow of his uncles' Lower East Side bakery. It's only as an adult, when he's settling his uncle's financial affairs before committing him to a hospice, that he discovers they were actually very rich.

Dough opens with a photo essay of the two uncles standing in the bakery, a picture where his mother is tell-talingly missing. The memoir alternates between chapters about the author's youth and adulthood. Zachter comes to terms with his bitterness about his impoverished childhood as the book progresses. He lived in a tiny apartment, sleeping on a banquette with his head touching the refrigerator. A buffet meal at a kosher cafeteria was a major affair for his family. He never understood his family's obsessive hoarding, even at his expense, their only offspring.

Because of the title, I expected Dough to be a food memoir, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I loved learning about life on the Lower East Side, but I also really enjoyed the author's reflections on family life and how expressively he wrote about the process of forgiving his uncles.

1 comment:

Zip n Tizzy said...

I love memoirs. This looks like a good one.