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The Frumkiss Family Businessby Michael Wex
Synopses & Reviews
Thomas Mann meets Mordecai Richler in this outstanding novel of great intellect and humour that already reads like a classic.
The Frumkiss family doesn't look much different from any of the others in Toronto's Bathurst Manor. Grandpa survived the Holocaust; Grandma the Second came from Poland at the age of five. Dad's a foot doctor; Mom is dead, and her mother — Grandma Number One —died while giving birth to her in Kazakhstan. Her three kids — the oldest is forty-two — are as frustrated and directionless as most baby boomers with no real financial worries. One's in Toronto, there's one in the suburbs and the third lives in Israel. As far as the Frumkisses know, all that distinguishes them from anybody else is that Grandpa is a famous Yiddish writer who ended up working for the CBC. But Grandpa's death sets off a chain of events that force the Frumkisses to see how different their family is from all the others.
The Frumkiss Family Business, Michael Wex's brilliant and hilarious new novel, is a family saga for the twenty-first century, a lovingly accurate portrait of middle-class Canadian life at the turn of the century and of the Toronto neighbourhood that has produced such famous Canadians as Howie Mandel and Wex himself. Imagine Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks without the stodgy Germans or The Brothers Karamazov with only one brother. Finally, a novel that does for Toronto what Mordecai Richler's books did for Montreal.
About the Author
MICHAEL WEX was born in Lethbridge, Alberta. The family moved first to Calgary, and then to Toronto, where they lived in Toronto's Bathurst Manor before migrating a few blocks north to Bathurst Village. Wex is the author of two works of fiction, Shlepping the Exile and The Adventures of Micah Mushmelon, Boy Talmudist, and three works of non-fiction: Born to Kvetch; Just Say Nu; and How to Be a Mentsh (and Not a Shmuck). He is also well known as a speaker on matters relating to Yiddish language and culture and more general aspects of Judaism. He lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter.
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