The first thing that impresses you about Alan Lupo 59 is his ability to recall details from four decades ago the clothes his friends wore, where they grew up, even where their parents emigrated from. Over lunch at Zaftigs deli in Brookline with a visitor from Amherst, Lupo weaves vivid memories into funny, touching, and captivating stories. Noshing on chicken salad on marbled rye, he becomes again the Jewish kid from Winthrop spending three beautiful years in the Alpha Epsilon Pi house on Sunset Avenue, cavorting with pledge-class brothers Irv Labovitz and Milty Lebowitz.
fourth book, The Messiah Comes Tomorrow, is subtitled Tales
from the American Shtetl. Memories of his youth in a working-class
Jewish neighborhood south of Revere Beach are interwoven with stories
of marriage to fellow journalist Caryl Rivers with whom he still
lives in Winthrop and the fruits of 40 years of writing for the
Boston Globe and other periodicals. The result is a lively portrait
of working-stiff Jews, a charming and
Lupo sees Messiah as documenting lives that have meaning but are in danger of being forgotten. I think people should know where they came from and who their parents and grandparents and ancestors were, he says. He bemoans modern materialism and extravagance and the loss of what he calls street smarts.
Im not a Luddite, says Lupo. Im not saying we have to go back to a simple life. But I hope we find our focus again. I hope this not only for Jewish people but for all groups.
Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology, edited by Professor Emeritus JULES CHAMETZKY, John Felstiner, Hilene Flanzbaum, and Kathryn Hellerstein; W.W. Norton, New York. A hefty anthology of prose, poetry, essays, comedy, music, letters, and diaries from 145 writers spanning almost 350 years, this collection addresses the complexity of being both Jewish and American.
The Port of Gloucester by JOSH REYNOLDS 93; Commonwealth Editions, Beverly. This portfolio of 45 color photographs, many made during the former Collegian photographers stint with the Gloucester Daily Times, explores life in the nations oldest fishing port, a working waterfront pressured by a declining fishery and by tourism and development.
Land of the Commonwealth, photographs by Richard Cheek, foreword by JOHN UPDIKE 93H; UMass Press, Amherst. If our long-settled and populous state is yet so liveable, writes Updike, much credit is due a group of citizens dedicated for a century to the acquisition of bits of scenery as country parks for the growing and crowded masses of greater Boston. Acquisitions by the Trustees of Reservations from the Berkshires to Marthas Vineyard are showcased in this handsome collection.