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Lost in America: A Journey with My Father [Kindle Edition]

Sherwin B. Nuland
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £10.53
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Book Description

A writer renowned for his insight into the mysteries of the body now gives us a lambent and profoundly moving book about the mysteries of family. At its center lies Sherwin Nuland’s Rembrandtesque portrait of his father, Meyer Nudelman, a Jewish garment worker who came to America in the early years of the last century but remained an eternal outsider. Awkward in speech and movement, broken by the premature deaths of a wife and child, Meyer ruled his youngest son with a regime of rage, dependency, and helpless love that outlasted his death.

In evoking their relationship, Nuland also summons up the warmth and claustrophobia of a vanished immigrant New York, a world that impelled its children toward success yet made them feel like traitors for leaving it behind. Full of feeling and unwavering observation, Lost in America deserves a place alongside such classics as Patrimony and Call It Sleep.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 315 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (18 Dec. 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000XUDH9I
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #666,835 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and evocative 21 Aug. 2008
Format:Hardcover
I found this a deeply moving book that clearly evoked the author's growing up with a father who never adapted to his new life in America. Similar books have of course been written but the combination of detail with anger, compassion and humour of this one must be rare, as was his father's illness. I will read some sections again and again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 17 Feb. 2015
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
THis book will be read again and again. reminds me so of my childhood.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Searing memoir and eulogy of love 3 May 2003
By Peggy Vincent - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Whoa, this is a hard one. Lost in America, written by the gifted Nuland, is an ode to his father, a work of self-therapy for himself, a gift to his readers, and an offering to anyone looking for resolution and understanding of a difficult family situation.
Lost in America begins with the author admitting to coming under the grips of debilitating depression, and the writing of this book seems to have been his way of fighting out of that despair, of coming to terms with some of its causes, and of trying to explain all that went wrong with his father's life as a Jewish immigrant in America - and how those failures impacted Sherwin Nuland. The turning point comes with Nuland's discovery that his father suffered the mental and neurological effects of late-stage syphilis - and with his acceptance that happiness for him would be impossible.
Heartbreaking and oh, so beautifully written. But also difficult (on an emotional level) to read; you may find yourself putting it aside for a few days before wanting to continue. But persevere and read to the end. You won't regret it.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and deeply moving 20 April 2003
By E. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In an earlier book, Dr. Nuland told us How We Die. That book gave me some understanding and comfort following my father's death. In this beautifully-written and heart-wrenching memoir, Dr. Nuland tries to come to terms with his own father's death and in doing so, manages to exorcise some demons.
This is a very brave memoir in that the author spares no one, including himself. It is at once brutally honest (sometimes so much so, that I had to stop reading) and incisive. His prose style--unusual for a doctor--is lyrical and succinct. He tells his story from a uniquely Jewish perspective (naturally) and so I wondered if readers with other religious affiliations would respond in the same way. Perhaps it doesn't matter. The book is a winner and I am enriched from having read it.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Dynamics Woven Into a Powerful Narrative 5 Sept. 2004
By Bernard J. Leininger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In 1994, when DR Nuland published his "Best Seller". "How We Die", I wrote a review for a Journal. As a surgeon, I was not impressed with explication of the disease processes that commonly caused death and the organization of the material; but I distinctly remember giving Nuland high praise for "his literary facility with the narrative in the case histories and the poignancy of his boyhood family life".

This same literary power is revisited in "spades" as he deftly threads the emotions of ethnicity, bizarre family dynamics, guilt, failures, despair, poverty, illnesses, hatred, rage, control and triumph into the fabric of a powerful narrative. The chronology conveniently saves the denouement of the malady that causes the Father's problems to almost the end.

The author's triumph in being appointed Chief Surgical Resident brought redemption for the father's failures as well as a modicum of reconcilliation and (unexpressed) love to the father-son rapport.

The author's wish that his father would die so that he would not cause him further embarassment perhaps emanated the ethical guilt to be expunged by re-visiting the father-son dynamics in the writing of this book. The moral honesty with which he wrote of this relationship had to have been very painful for the author, as it seemed palpable to me in the reading(a mark of good literature).

This is definitely Nuland's best literary work.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating and touching book 7 Jan. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This isn't the kind of book I normally read, but it was given to me before I went on vacation. I just picked it up one night and couldn't put it down. Nuland first takes the reader on a familiar journey as a son of poor immigrants struggling to survive in a new country. In widening circles of description, recognition, and, finally, illumination, Nuland allows the reader to accompany him in his own journey to understanding and perhaps forgiving the person who influenced his life so strongly. The book is funny and tragic and very very moving.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, marvelous reading 28 July 2005
By Soledad Cervantes Ramirez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A most moving, thoughtful, disarmingly candid, disarmingly honest perusal of what it was to grow with an immigrant father apparently deffective in every respect, however full of love for a son both as he was and as he came to be, almost a dissection of human emotions yet a most loving one; we share the awe, mixed love-shame and adventure of the author in discovering the scope of what is a human being and what a human being can be, as he uncovers a past ultimately bountiful with the reward for him of overcoming hindrances and prejudices in a new world. I don't think the author aimed to show this, but by overcoming hindrances and prejudice he ends gaining his own rightful place in that new world and in the process makes his father triumph. The book, and the journey, is a triumph of the human spirit.
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