Discuss Tale of Escape and Survival at Book Discussion Group

Join JFS to discuss “A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka: A Memoir” by Lev Golinkin, chosen from the Read in Color Recommended Reading list on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at JFS. The Bruce Goodman Read in Color Little Free Library at JFS brings diverse books into our community to increase understanding, empathy and inclusion.

In the twilight of the Cold War (the late 1980s), nine-year old Lev Golinkin and his family cross the Soviet border, leaving Ukraine with only ten suitcases, $600, and the vague promise of help awaiting in Vienna. Years later, Lev, now an American adult, sets out to retrace his family’s long trek, locate the strangers who fought for his freedom, and in the process, gain a future by understanding his past.

Written with biting, acerbic wit and emotional honesty in the vein of Gary Shteyngartand and David Bezmozgis, Golinkin’s search for personal identity set against the relentless currents of history is more than a memoir— it’s a portrait of a lost era. This is a thrilling tale of escape and survival, a deeply personal look at the life of a Jewish child caught in the last gasp of the Soviet Union, and a provocative investigation into the power of hatred and the search for belonging.

RSVP your attendance to Jodi Saltzman, Community Engagement Manager, at jsaltzman@jfssp.org or (651) 984-0965.