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Precious Objects: A Story of Diamonds, Family, and a Way of Life

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Precious Objects: A Story of Diamonds, Family, and a Way of Life Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the middle of New York City lies a neighborhood where all secrets are valuable, all assets are liquid, and all deals are sealed with a blessing. Welcome to the diamond district. Ninety percent of all diamonds that enter America pass through these few blocks, but the inner workings of this mysterious world are known only to the people who inhabit it. With insight and drama, Alicia Oltuski limns her family's diamond-paved move from communist Siberia to a displaced persons camp in post-World War II Germany to New York's diamond district, exploring the connections among Jews and the industry, the gem and its lore, and the exotic citizens of this secluded world.

Now in paperback, Precious Objects offers an insiders look at the history, business, and society behind one of the worlds most coveted natural resources, providing an unforgettable backstage pass to an extraordinary and timeless show.

Review:

"With revealing observations on the centuries-old link between Jews and the diamond industry, and sparkling accounts of her familial ties to the business....Oltuski, daughter of a diamond dealer, brings clarity in this study of the industry." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"A piercing, intensely readable book. Ms. Oltuski guides us through New York's diamond business, one of the world's most fascinating and hard-to-penetrate communities, with great aplomb." Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

Review:

"Alicia Oltuski is an intrepid journalist able to write with precision and insight about the big issues in the diamond trade and the intimate details of life on Forty-Seventh Street." Tony Hall, U.S. Representative

Review:

"Beautiful and thrilling, Precious Objects, sparkles with life. Alicia Oltuski tells both the story of her family, as glittering as the gems they sell, and the story of the diamonds that have taken them all over the world and across the generations. A fascinating and gripping read." Jennifer Gilmore, author of Something Red

Review:

"A warm and detailed tour of a fascinating culture that hides in plain sight. You'll never see a diamond twinkling on a woman's finger without remembering the remarkable characters in Oltuski's book." Dan Baum, author of Citizen Coors

Review:

"Epic in scope and wonderfully personal, Precious Objects is an impassioned, insider's take on a complex industry. What's most dazzling are Ms. Oltuski's characters, who are vivid, outrageous, and never without some glimmers of wisdom." Beth Raymer, author of Lay the Favorite

Review:

"In the end, Ms Oltuski's book is an honest look at the diamond trade. And in telling this story, it is obvious the real precious objects in the book are not the diamonds, but her family members and the other men and (few) women who inhabit New York's diamond district." Gems & Gemology

Review:

"[A] fascinating book...a multifaceted portrait of a New York city-within-a-city, bound by custom and religion and, for some, by obsession with the beauty of diamonds." Maureen Corrigan, Penn Gazette

Review:

"Oltuski has paid fond, affecting and informative tribute to the world of her fathers." The Washington Post

Review:

"At once global and local, impersonal and intimate, the ins and outs of the diamond industry are grist for the writerly imagination. Oltuski is up to the challenge. The daughter and granddaughter of men in the business, she brings an insider's perspective to the proceedings as well as a keen eye for the telling incident and quirky personal trait." The New Republic

Review:

"She writes most fascinatingly about the strange characters that clutter the streets." New York Post

Synopsis:

IN THE MIDDLE OF NEW YORK CITY lies a neighborhood where all secrets are valuable, all assets are liquid, and all deals are sealed with a blessing. Welcome to the diamond district. Ninety percent of all diamonds that enter America pass through these few blocks, but the inner workings of this mysterious world are known only to the people who inhabit it. With insight and drama, Alicia Oltuski limns her familys diamond-paved move from communist Siberia to a displaced persons camp in post-World War II Germany to New Yorks diamond district, exploring the connections among Jews and the industry, the gem and its lore, and the exotic citizens of this secluded world.

Now in paperback, Precious Objects offers an insiders look at the history, business, and society behind one of the worlds most coveted natural resources, providing an unforgettable backstage pass to an extraordinary and timeless show.

About the Author

Alicia Oltuski received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees at the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in writing from Columbia University, where she was awarded the David Berg Foundation Fellowship. Her work has appeared on NPR's Berlin Stories, in The Philadelphia Bulletin, The Penn Review, Peregrine, and other publications. She has taught at the University of the Arts and lives in the Washington, D.C. area with her husband.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416545132
Author:
Oltuski, Alicia
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20120731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Sociology » Jewish Studies
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Gems and Precious Stones
Science and Mathematics » Geology » General

Precious Objects: A Story of Diamonds, Family, and a Way of Life New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Scribner - English 9781416545132 Reviews:
"Review" by , "With revealing observations on the centuries-old link between Jews and the diamond industry, and sparkling accounts of her familial ties to the business....Oltuski, daughter of a diamond dealer, brings clarity in this study of the industry."
"Review" by , "A piercing, intensely readable book. Ms. Oltuski guides us through New York's diamond business, one of the world's most fascinating and hard-to-penetrate communities, with great aplomb."
"Review" by , "Alicia Oltuski is an intrepid journalist able to write with precision and insight about the big issues in the diamond trade and the intimate details of life on Forty-Seventh Street."
"Review" by , "Beautiful and thrilling, Precious Objects, sparkles with life. Alicia Oltuski tells both the story of her family, as glittering as the gems they sell, and the story of the diamonds that have taken them all over the world and across the generations. A fascinating and gripping read."
"Review" by , "A warm and detailed tour of a fascinating culture that hides in plain sight. You'll never see a diamond twinkling on a woman's finger without remembering the remarkable characters in Oltuski's book."
"Review" by , "Epic in scope and wonderfully personal, Precious Objects is an impassioned, insider's take on a complex industry. What's most dazzling are Ms. Oltuski's characters, who are vivid, outrageous, and never without some glimmers of wisdom."
"Review" by , "In the end, Ms Oltuski's book is an honest look at the diamond trade. And in telling this story, it is obvious the real precious objects in the book are not the diamonds, but her family members and the other men and (few) women who inhabit New York's diamond district."
"Review" by , "[A] fascinating book...a multifaceted portrait of a New York city-within-a-city, bound by custom and religion and, for some, by obsession with the beauty of diamonds."
"Review" by , "Oltuski has paid fond, affecting and informative tribute to the world of her fathers."
"Review" by , "At once global and local, impersonal and intimate, the ins and outs of the diamond industry are grist for the writerly imagination. Oltuski is up to the challenge. The daughter and granddaughter of men in the business, she brings an insider's perspective to the proceedings as well as a keen eye for the telling incident and quirky personal trait."
"Review" by , "She writes most fascinatingly about the strange characters that clutter the streets."
"Synopsis" by , IN THE MIDDLE OF NEW YORK CITY lies a neighborhood where all secrets are valuable, all assets are liquid, and all deals are sealed with a blessing. Welcome to the diamond district. Ninety percent of all diamonds that enter America pass through these few blocks, but the inner workings of this mysterious world are known only to the people who inhabit it. With insight and drama, Alicia Oltuski limns her familys diamond-paved move from communist Siberia to a displaced persons camp in post-World War II Germany to New Yorks diamond district, exploring the connections among Jews and the industry, the gem and its lore, and the exotic citizens of this secluded world.

Now in paperback, Precious Objects offers an insiders look at the history, business, and society behind one of the worlds most coveted natural resources, providing an unforgettable backstage pass to an extraordinary and timeless show.

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