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russian american cultural center


Meet the Writer: Emil Draitser

Thursday, September 25, 2008, 6:30 PM

Shush! Growing Up Jewish Under Stalin.

We are happy to have a new opportunity for our audience to meet Emil Draitser at his reading & book signing event.  Emil Draitser will present his newly published (University of California Press) book entitled Shush! Growing Up Jewish Under Stalin.


Many years after making his way to America from Odessa, Emil Draitser made a startling discovery: every time he uttered the word "Jewish"--even in casual conversation--he lowered his voice. This behavior was a natural by-product, he realized, of growing up in the anti-Semitic, post-Holocaust Soviet Union, when "Shush!" was the most frequent word he heard: "Don't use your Jewish name in public. Don't speak a word of Yiddish. And don't cry over your murdered relatives." 


 This compelling memoir brings the reader back to Draitser’s childhood and provides a unique account of mid-twentieth century life in Russia as the young Draitser struggles to recon­cile the harsh values of Soviet society with the values of his working-class Jewish family.


“Draitser is authentic and honestly self-critical, while also full of humor and warmth. Shush! is a great tribute to the tenacity of a people who kept their identity and loyalty intact even when threatened with dire consequences.”—Irena Grudzinska Gross, author of The Scar of Revolution


About The Author


Emil Draitser is Professor of Russian at Hunter College of the City University of New York. In addition to his twelve books of artistic and scholarly prose, his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Partisan Review, and the North American Review, as well as in many Russian, Polish, Israeli, and Canadian journals. To learn more about the book and its author, please consult the publisher's webpage, the author's book site Shush the Book, and the Wikipedia entry on “Emil Draitser”:


Russian Bookstore No.21

174 Fifth Ave /22/23/streets

Manhattan 10010


The Russian American Cultural Center, 500 East 77 Street # 316 New York, NY 10162 646-831-0554,,

RACC’s events are made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and New York City Department of Cultural Affair, and COJECO.





To list an upcoming event please contact


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