Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Too Twee* For Me

"My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner, A Family Memoir" by Meir Shalev   Schocken Books   212 pages   $25.95

The brush went into the paint pot a little too often for this portrait of kindly old Uncle Windbag regaling the assembled family with imaginative events and old quarrels from their shared past. 

Shalev is reputed to be one of Israel's most celebrated writers, but this book was translated from Hebrew to English so perhaps that accounts for any nuances that may hav been missed.

The story describes the grandmother, family life, much of the scenery found in Israel and accounts of Ah, the donkey, who was so clever that she would use a bit of wire to pick the lock on her stall door during the night, escape and fly to London to confer with politicians about the Israeli situation. 

The vacuum cleaner arrived in the village of Nahalal all the way from Los Angeles.  Shalev found it intresting to describe the cleaner's emotions on the journey and after arrival.  In the port of New York, if it hadn't been in a crate, it could have seen the Statue of Liberty. 

Yes, very imaginative, but also Just Too Cute.

*Twee:  excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty or sentimental.

No comments: