Loss of Memory Is Only Temporary: Stories

HarperAudio. Feb. 2022. 8:15 hrs. ISBN 9780063061651. $23.99. F
This new short story collection includes stories that were originally published in Kaplan’s Other People’s Lives. Great new additions include the autobiographical “Tales of my Great-Grandfathers” and “Family Obligation.” The setting of several of the stories is the Jewish areas of the Upper West Side of Manhattan after World War II. The characters include Holocaust survivors with black ink on their arms, an ornery teenager who is angry with her mother, a woman recently released from an institution designated for mental health patients, and an annoying friend whose speech is a never-ending burst of excited language. Narrator Nicole Poole does an excellent job bringing the characters to life. Her perfect pacing and tone capture the characters’ unique personalities and speech patterns. Poole’s Polish-, German-, and Yiddish-accented English add authenticity. The pronunciation of Hebrew words is not always perfect, but that does not impact the enjoyment of the stories.
VERDICT Listeners who are nostalgic about the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Jewish sleep-away camp, or Shakespeare in the Park will especially enjoy hearing about these complex characters and their lives.
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