Lies About My Family

  • From the Publisher
May 13, 2013
This well-craft­ed fam­i­ly Autobiography/​Memoir is about the sto­ries that are told and the ones that are not told, and about the ways the mean­ings of the sto­ries change down the gen­er­a­tions. It is about mem­o­ry and the spaces between mem­o­ries, and about alien­ation and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. Like mil­lions of Jew­ish immi­grants, Amy Hoff­man’s grand­par­ents came to the Unit­ed States dur­ing the ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry from Poland and Rus­sia. They left their homes because of per­se­cu­tion and hope­less pover­ty, look­ing for bet­ter lives or at the least a chance of sur­vival. Because of the luck, hard work, and resource­ful­ness of the ear­li­er gen­er­a­tions, Hoff­man and her five sib­lings grew up in a mid­dle-class home, healthy, well fed, and well edu­cat­ed. Hoff­man and her sib­lings grew up as obser­vant Jews in a heav­i­ly Catholic New Jer­sey sub­urb, as polit­i­cal pro­gres­sives in a town full of Repub­li­cans, as read­ers in a school full of foot­ball play­ers and their fans. As a young les­bian, Hoff­man dis­tanced her­self from her par­ents, who did­n’t under­stand her choice, and from the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, with its orga­ni­za­tion around fam­i­ly and unques­tion­ing Zion­ism. How­ev­er, both she and her par­ents changed and evolved, and by the end of this engag­ing nar­ra­tive, they have come to new under­stand­ings, of them­selves and one another. 

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