The Disappearing Apartment

By Fishman, Boris | Tablet Magazine, February 26, 2019 | Go to article overview

The Disappearing Apartment


Fishman, Boris, Tablet Magazine


"You won't live like that at first," the woman at our dining table said, gesturing toward the closet, where her fur coat hung. My grandfather had insisted on helping her out of it, ostensibly out of chivalry but really so he could paw it and see what you could get in America. Chinchilla, she'd said, but he knew what he knew: That was rabbit. It was a good copy, thoughthe coat light, the hair dense. He had held the coat closet wide open so she could notice the blue German lamb's wool there, the minks, the French shearling knee-length. He was doing just fine without the wisdom of people like her.

It was 1988Soviet Jews were leaving in droves for America. (During this period, the word "leaving" came to refer to a single thing requiring no clarification.) That it was easier to leave didn't mean it was easyas always, only certain things worked at certain times for certain people. …

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