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Dear Members and Visitors,

We are not currently fulfilling online orders, as the Yiddish Book Center has closed its building to protect visitors and staff during the COVID19 pandemic. Feel free to browse our store, but be aware that the shopping cart is disabled.

You can also browse the Center’s main website at yiddishbookcenter.org. Or sign up at yiddishbookcenter.org/signup for our free e-newsletter featuring interviews, articles, podcasts and other content that you can enjoy during this time.

If you have any questions, contact me at  bookstore@yiddishbookcenter.org.


A sheynem dank, and be well!

Sami Keats, Museum store Manager

A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman

A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman


A singularly talented writer makes his literary debut with this provocative, soulful, and sometimes hilarious story of a failed journalist asked to do the unthinkable: Forge Holocaust-restitution claims for old Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York.

Yevgeny Gelman, grandfather of Slava Gelman, “didn’t suffer in the exact way” he needs to have suffered to qualify for the restitution the German government has been paying out to Holocaust survivors. But suffer he has—as a Jew in the war; as a second-class citizen in the USSR; as an immigrant to America. So? Isn’t his grandson a “writer”?

High-minded Slava wants to put all this immigrant scraping behind him. Only the American Dream is not panning out for him—Century, the legendary magazine where he works as a researcher, wants nothing greater from him. Slava wants to be a correct, blameless American—but he wants to be a lionized writer even more.

Slava’s turn as the Forger of South Brooklyn teaches him that not every fact is the truth, and not every lie a falsehood. It takes more than law-abiding to become an American; it takes the same self-reinvention in which his people excel. Intoxicated and unmoored by his inventions, Slava risks exposure. Cornered, he commits an irrevocable act that finally grants him a sense of home in America, but not before collecting a price from his family.

A Replacement Life is a dark, moving, and beautifully written novel about family, honor, and justice.

Hardcover 2014


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