The Fortune Teller's Kiss

The Fortune Teller's Kiss

Book - 2006
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There was always the incantation: "Whoever wishes you harm, may harm come to them!" And just in case that didn't work, there were garlic and cloves to repel the Evil Eye--or, better yet, the dried foreskin from a baby boy's circumcision, ground to a fine powder. But whatever precautions Brenda Serotte was subjected to, they were not enough. Shortly before her eighth birthday, in the fall of 1954, she came down with polio--painfully singled out in a world already marked by differences. Her bout with the dreaded disease is at the heart of this poignant and heartbreakingly hilarious memoir of growing up a Sephardic Jew among Ashkenazi neighbors in the Bronx.

This was a world of belly dancers and fortune tellers, shelter drills and vast quantities of Mediterranean food; a world of staunchly joined and endlessly contrary aunts and uncles, all drawn here in loving, merciless detail. The Fortune Teller's Kiss is a heartfelt tribute to a disappearing culture and a paean to the author's truly quirky clan, especially her beloved champion, her father. It is also a deft and intimate cultural history of the Bronx fifty years ago and of its middle-class inhabitants, their attitudes toward contagious illness, womanly beauty, poverty, and belonging.

Publisher: Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, c2006.
ISBN: 9780803243262
080324326X
Branch Call Number: 974.7100492 SE
Characteristics: xii, 218 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.

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