City Paper is not for tourists
“As I’ve always told you, son, you must follow your heart,” insists Seymour Bloom, a Jewish immigrant with mob ties, Broadway dreams, and a central role in Jennifer Gilmore’s Golden Country. His son’s reply—“You’ve never told me that”—is the ambivalent fallout of the American Dream that drives Gilmore’s debut novel. With its three interlocking stories of Jewish immigrants, Golden Country isn’t altogether the “reinvention of the Jewish-American novel” that it claims to be; writers have been exploring the disillusionment of Jewish immigrants in New York since, well, Jewish immigrants arrived in New York. Still, Gilmore succeeds with a voice that is both touching and refreshingly funny. In a story that stretches from the 1920s to the 1960s, Gilmore hits on the highs of Irving Berlin’s Broadway, the lows of Jewish organized crime, and the bittersweet results of an American Dream revised. Gilmore discusses and signs copies of her work at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1307 19th St. NW. Free. (202) 785-1133.