Robin Chozinoff was born of poor but honest parents in a log cabin in New York City. She was one smart kid and she attended schools with a hell of a lot more Prestige than mine, where she racked up superb grades. Read this great book and get a lot more bio.
I’ve known a few writers who decided to do memoirs and stumbled into the same pit that politicians fall into–political correctness. It’s funny in a nation that prides itself on its free speech, to the extent that teenagers wearing clothes made out of 1/8 yard of fabric are considered to be exercising ﬁrst amendment rights, yet runs screaming from revelations of anything truly personal, if it’s not a drug problem, Robin has opted for simple honesty. Because she’s well-centered and fair minded there is no meanness in its pages. She never uses her memoir to get even.
The old wheeze that if you want a free tallit, tﬁllin or sidur, go to Ellis Island and jump off the boat. They’re all down there at the bottom, where our ancestors threw them before setting foot in the golden land. Robin has done what many of us did; she picked up the ragged and torn tallitot and tried to ﬁgure out how they were to be remade, and how worn and how they could be made to ﬁt. It’s appropriate that she writes so much about sewing, and that she needed to hand make her own dress — gorgeous material, but hell to work with–
There’s a lot more to this memoir than a rediscovery and remodeling of our ancestral faith. There’s a marvelous three-dimensional portrait of a loved and not always lovable father, there are sketches of friends, relatives, kids in her unique voice and with her own slant.
Years ago, I wrote a piece of diction in which the protagonist was a volunteer ﬁreman. Everybody down at the ﬁre-house wanted to pose for the cover. Anyone can say to Robin: but that’s not the way it was. My advice? Write your own memoir — this is the way she sees it.
At great expense we have spirited the woman up from her present location in the lone star state to speak to us: Robin Chotzinoff