Forgetting Fathers

Untold Stories from an Orphaned Past

David Marshall
eISBN-13: 9781438458939

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In Forgetting Fathers, David Marshall weaves together the stories of his grandfather and great-grandfather with his own quest to solve the mystery of his family's past. Beginning as a search for his lost family name, Marshall attempts to understand the origins of his grandfather, who spent part of his childhood in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of the City of New York. He also reconstructs the life and death of his great-grandfather, a Russian immigrant tailor who died at age thirty-six in a private sanitarium dedicated to the treatment of mental and nervous diseases. The narrative becomes a detective story that reflects on our ambivalence about origins, the relation between history and mourning, and the compulsion to search for life stories. Forgetting Fathers combines historical accounts based on records, reports, and public documents with autobiographical reflections and speculations. Included throughout are photographs, newspaper clippings, and facsimiles of original documents that provide a sense of both the texture of the times and the fabric of archival and genealogical research.

ISBNs 9781438458922, 1438458932, 9781438458939
Language English