Columbus: Elissa Altman on "Treyf: My Life as an Unorthodox Outlaw"
Join us on Tuesday, September 27th at 7pm for a reading by Elissa Altman from her new book, Treyf: My Life as an Unorthodox Outlaw. Dani Shapiro will join in conversation.
In this kaleidoscopic, universal memoir of time and place, Elissa Altman explores the tradition, religion, family expectation, and the forbidden that were the fixed points in her 1970s Queens, New York, childhood. Every part of Altman's youth was laced with contradiction and hope, betrayal and the yearning for acceptance: synagogue on Saturday and Chinese pork ribs on Sunday; Bat Mitzvahs followed by shrimp-in-lobster-sauce luncheons; her old-country grandparents whose kindness and love were tied to unspoken rage; and her bell-bottomed neighbors whose adoring affection hid dark secrets.
While the suburban promise of "The Brady Bunch" blared on television, Altman searched for peace and meaning in a world teeming with faith, violence, sex, and paradox. Spanning from 1940s wartime Brooklyn to 1960s and 70s Queens to present-day rural New England, Treyf captures the collision of youthful cravings and grown-up identities; it is a vivid tale of what it means to come to yourself both in spite of and in honor to your past.
Elissa Altman is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Poor Man's Feast, and the James Beard Award-winning blog of the same name. She writes the Washington Post column, "Feeding My Mother," and her work has appeared everywhere from O, The Oprah Magazine and Tin House to the New York Times, and has been anthologized for five consecutive years in Best Food Writing. She lives in Connecticut with her family.