1185 Park Avenue

1185 Park Avenue

From National Book Award nominee Anne Roiphe comes this moving memoir of growing up in a wealthy Jewish home with a family who had money, status, culture -- everything but happiness.
While the nation was at war abroad, Roiphe, who was coming of age in 1940s New York City, saw her parents at war in their living room. Roiphe's evocative writing puts readers right in Apartment 8C, where a constant tension plays out between a disappointed and ineffectual mother, a philandering father who uses his wife's money to entertain other women, and a difficult brother. Behind the leisure culture of wealthy Jewish society -- the mahjongg games, the cocktail parties, the summer houses -- lurks a brutality that strikes a chord with a daughter who longs to heal the wounds of her troubled family.
Writing with a novelist's sensibility, Roiphe reveals the poignant story of a family that has finally claimed its material wealth in a prosperous America but has yet to claim its spiritual due.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684857329 | 
  • May 2000
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Neighborhood

Later when we would drive in from our country house along Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx or out to visit a friend on Long Island and we'd drive through Queens, after tunnels or bridges, after streets of warehouses and factories smelling of glues and yeast, we'd pass the small two-family attached houses that lined the road before the city would slide into suburb. We'd see the striped awnings on each little brick house, the chairs on the porches where flowerpots vied for space with barbeque grills, the small iron gates, behind which blue and white painted statues of the Virgin watched as the cars... see more

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