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Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes
Synopses & Reviews
Epic, ambitious, heartbreaking, and wholly original; a literary tour de force that spans the twentieth century with one family's search for a lost son.
In Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes, author T Cooper chronicles the unusual history of the Lipshitz family, Jewish refugees who narrowly escape the bloody Russian pogroms of 1903. Upon landing at Ellis Island, Esther and Hersh Lipshitz lose their uncharacteristically blond-haired, blue-eyed son Reuven. Circumstances eventually force them to give up their fruitless search for Reuven and to join a relative living in the Texas panhandle. However, Esther never stops pondering the fate of her lost son, and when she sees a picture of the blond, blue-eyed Charles Lindbergh after his 1927 transatlantic flight, she becomes convinced that the aviator is her grown son Reuven. Esther's obsession with Lindbergh (Reuven) slowly destroys those around her and will leave far-reaching effects on the entire Lipshitz family.
In 2002 in New York City, we encounter the character T Cooper, the last living Lipshitz, who has received an unsolicited box from his estranged mother. In it, he finds clippings and letters to Charles Lindbergh and his family, all once carefully preserved by his great-grandmother Esther. When he is forced back to Texas to bury his suddenly and tragically deceased parents, T finds himself the inheritor of a family history filled with loose ends, factual errors, and maniacal behavior. An ex?literary golden boy who has quit writing to pursue a career as a bar mitzvah entertainer who impersonates the rapper Eminem, T struggles to make sense of all that came before him and — in light of his wife's desire to have a baby — what legacy he might leave behind as well.
"Cooper performs the unparalleled feat of addressing white rappers, Jewish heritage freaks and Charles Lindbergh fans with her second novel (after Some of the Parts). The story begins in 1907, when Esther and Hersh Lipshitz inexplicably lose their blond boy, Reuven, while disembarking at Ellis Island. They are fleeing the pogroms of czarist Russia and are headed for Amarillo, Tex., where Esther's brother Avi lives. An indifferent mother, Esther gradually comes to believe that Reuven is, somehow, Charles Lindbergh. The last third of the novel jumps from Esther's death to a gender-bending, self-reflexive coda. A male narrator and stalled novelist named T Cooper is working in New York as an Eminem-enamored DJ for bar mitzvah parties when his parents die in a bizarre car accident. T's reluctant return to Amarillo to oversee the funeral and the estate rekindles his interest in writing about his grandmother Miriam (Esther's daughter). Cooper the author bridges the obvious chasm between the atmosphere of Esther's story and the attitude of the coda by reaching out to a larger history. She takes apart the usual Jewish heritage tale and the themes of assimilation, touching them with both postmodern parody and Chagallesque folk magic." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"With its multigenerational immigrant story and meditations on gender, Cooper's book seems almost self-consciously in the mold of Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex." Booklist
"A novel still in search of itself." Kirkus Reviews
"This is a fresh, funky, astutely observed and frankly different version of the immigrant story, making the most of lost and found identity in the mix of modern America." Amy Bloom, author of A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You
"T Cooper is a prodigious talent. This novel is more than just a smart, stylish page turner; you'll find some of the most audacious thinking in America today between its covers." Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng and The Real McCoy
"T Cooper is our new Don DeLillo. This novel is a filament threaded inside history and lighting it from the inside out." Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh
"T Cooper is an American original. I love this book." Jennifer Haigh, author of Baker Towers & Mrs. Kimble
"Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes is a brave novel of poignancy, reverberations and ingenuity." David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas
"It's impossible to stop turning the pages of this endlessly inventive, exuberantly comic, extravagantly entertaining book. Cooper's take on the American experience is both wild and unforgettably poignant." Sigrid Nunez, author of The Last of Her Kind
"A blazing young writer. Funny, engrossing, irreverent." Rona Jaffe, author of The Best of Everything
Epic, ambitious, heartbreaking, and wholly original, this literary tour de force spans the 20th century with one family's search for a lost son.
A postmodern family saga by one of Americas freshest literary voices
Upon landing at Ellis Island in 1903, Esther and Hersh Lipshitz discover their son Reuven is missing. The child is never found, and decades later, Esther becomes convinced that the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh is her lost boy. Esthers manic obsession spirals out of control, leaving far-reaching effects on the entire Lipshitz lineage. In the present, we meet T Cooper—the last living Lipshitz—who struggles to make sense of all that came before him and what legacy he might leave behind.
About the Author
T Cooper is the author of the novel Some of the Parts. T earned an MFA from Columbia University, and has been published in the New York Times, the Believer, Parenting, Jane, Out, and various anthologies. T has twice been a fellow of The MacDowell Colony and was a finalist for the 2004 Koret Young Writer on Jewish Themes Award.
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