Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Lies My Grandmother Told Me

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

Lies My Grandmother Told Me

Article excerpt

I like telling people that my grandmother Chaia was psychotic, that she was a prostitute, that she worked for the Mossad, that she lived in a shack on a dusty rooftop in Tel Aviv, that she owned an apartment in a seaside village in Italy, that she smoked and cursed, that she could pop up anywhere in the world at any time, that she hid my mother in the closet of a Christian monastery for the first four years of her life, that she was a bag lady who walked the Tel Aviv streets day and night with other crazies and weirdos, that she wouldn't hesitate to throw knives at you if you crossed her.

I would tell people that she did all those things because the Holocaust destroyed her, that it destroyed her family, that she was pushed out of a unimaginably overcrowded train car through a tiny window then shot by German soldiers as soon as she hit the ground and left to bleed and rot in the middle of the Polish forest, only to wake up and find her way back to her village where she hid in her own attic while German soldiers lived below, nursing her own wounds and stealing pig food late at night when no one was watching. …

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