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How I Came Into My Inheritance: And Other True Stories
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How I Came Into My Inheritance: And Other True Stories

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Dorothy Gallagher began her literary career fabricating stories about celebrities for a pulp magazine. Nothing she invented, however, could rival the facts surrounding her own family.

In a singular voice–intimate, fierce, hilarious–Gallagher takes you into the heart of her Russian Jewish heritage with stories as elegant and stylish as fiction. From the wrenching last stages
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 13th 2002 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2001)
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Oct 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Dorothy Gallagher's absolutely original and unique voice perfectly portrays her childhood in a collection of linked stories. This short but biting collection can be read in a short sitting and are funny, highly observant, and MUST be the truth as no one could possibly invent these relatives.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Auto-biography. Daughter of a Ukrainian mother and a Jewish father, Dorothy shares stories of growing up poor in New York City. Good writing.
Joan Lieberman
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
She reveals her unconscious racism in the writing process, which while we all have it, haunted me.
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great book of family life and expectations set in a Brooklyn/Bronx city landscape. The famous author shares with great wit and dialect her larger Russian-Jewish family of aunts, uncles, cousins - all as they grew up together, with all the warts, tensions, and absurdities one finds within their families.

I loved the opening pages - it set the tone for all that was to come.

"After my mother broke her hip, I put her in a nursing home. 'You want to put me here?' she said.
The woman was certified sen
Jan 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
This is the author’s first collection of memory stories, and it focuses on her parents and extended family, life in the Bronx and Golden's Bridge. It hangs together more as a single narrative, though told it discrete episodes but is equally pungent and insightful into the time and world of very secular left-wing Jews. Gallagher was a red-diaper baby, though a heretic among her parent’s generation of true-believers (except for her Aunt Rachile, who made two trips to the Soviet Union in the 30s, o ...more
Feb 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tzippy by: my father
My father wrote a review for this book that included the following excerpt:
The family dynamics are amazingly familiar: both extremely funny but also very sad. The grudges, the socialist ideas, the summer camps, the obsessive-compulsive relationships, it could have been written by my parents or any of my friend's parents who were all born in the Lower Eastside to Eastern European Jewish immigrants. Unfortunately, and I guess that's why I still find the story quite sad, is that Ms. Gallagher never
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I choose what I read mostly from book reviews in national papers, on NPR, award winners and from other readers. But the books that I love so much have come from browsing in a library or a bookstore. I found Barbara Pym going down the alphabet in my local library, Gilbert White my first time at The Strand and this book in Blue Bicycle Books last weekend in Charleston, SC. Gallagher's stories of her extended Jewish family are poignant, irreverent, and laugh out loud funny. Buy this book, keep it c ...more
Jenny Schmenny
Oct 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Oh, how I love reading about red diaper babies! Oh, how I relate to people who also grew up with weird parents in squalid, half-built homes. Gallagher's got a great descriptive style, cool and vivid, like frost on a window.
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So funny. Very sad. Entirety human. It made me laugh, it made me think, I can't wait to share this with my friends and family! Such a find. Why did I wait so long to read it!!!
Matthew Towles
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gallagher's voice is wholly engrossing; like she is speaking to the reader, but not too casually. I don't know yet. I really, really enjoyed this book.
Nov 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Dorothy has a way of writing simply and directly about her family and extended relatives. This slim volume draws you right in, and gives pause to thinking about your own "interesting" realtives.
Ayelet Waldman
Don't let the last name fool you, she's the daughter of Jewish reds from Russia and writes a truly hilarious memoir of her childhood.
Amanda Cunningham
Oct 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Loved this--great stories.
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
im not a great reader of memoirs. this one was ok.
Nov 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Just not as good as it should have been, given the first chapter/story. mostly a series of anecdotes that really needed fleshing out.
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoy the way I feel when reading her material because it's like having a conversation with a friend, even though some of the topics weren't comfortable.
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