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New Books by BC Faculty Series: Rachel M. Brownstein, “American Born: An Immigrant Story, A Daughter’s Memoir”

October 12, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

This event celebrates the publication of Rachel M. Brownstein’s new book American Born: An Immigrant Story, A Daughter’s Memoir.

Brownstein, Professor Emerita of English at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, will be joined in conversation by Allan Amanik, Associate Professor and Chairperson Department of Judaic Studies, Brooklyn College. The book is an incisive memoir of Brownstein’s seemingly quintessential Jewish mother, a resilient and courageous immigrant in New York.

A distinguished biographer and critic, Brownstein began writing about her mother Reisel during the Trump years, dwelling on the tales she told about her life and the questions they raised about nationalism, immigration, and storytelling. For most of the twentieth century, Brownstein’s mother gracefully balanced her identities as an American and a Jew. Her values, her language, and her sense of timing inform the imagination of the daughter who recalls her in her own old age. The memorializing daughter interrupts, interprets, and glosses, sifting through alternate versions of the same stories using scenes, songs, and books from their time together. This event is part of the Wolfe Institute’s “New Books by BC Faculty Series.”