The Jew Store by Stella Suberman

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For a real bargain, while you're making a living, you should make also a life.--Aaron Bronson. In 1920, in small town America, the ubiquitous dry goods store--suits and coats, shoes and hats, work clothes and school clothes, yard goods and notions--was usually owned by Jews and often referred to as "the Jew store." That's how Stella Suberman's father's store, Bronson's Low-Priced Store, in Concordia, Tennessee, was known locally. The Bronsons were the first Jews to ever live in that tiny town (1920 population: 5,318) of one main street, one bank, one drugstore, one picture show, one feed and seed, one hardware, one barber shop, one beauty parlor, one blacksmith, and many Christian churches. Aaron Bronson moved his family all the way from New York City to that remote corner of northwest Tennessee to prove himself a born salesman--and much more. Told by Aaron's youngest child, THE JEW STORE is that rare thing--an intimate family story that sheds new light on a piece of American history. Here is ONE MAN'S FAMILY with a twist--a Jew, born into poverty in prerevolutionary Russia and orphaned from birth, finds his way to America, finds a trade, finds a wife, and sets out to find his fortune in a place where Jews are unwelcome. With a novelist's sense of scene, suspense, and above all, characterization, Stella Suberman turns the clock back to a time when rural America was more peaceful but no less prejudiced, when educated liberals were suspect, and when the Klan was threatening to outsiders. In that setting, she brings to life her remarkable father, a man whose own brand of success proves that intelligence, empathy, liberality, and decency can build a home anywhere. THE JEW STORE is a heartwarming--even inspiring--story.

About Stella Suberman

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Stella Suberman was born in Union City, Tennessee, the setting for her memoir, "The Jew Store", and spent her teens in Miami Beach, Florida. After twenty years in North Carolina, she returned to Florida in 1966 as the administrative director of the Lowe Art Museum of the University of Miami. Now retired, she lives in Boca Raton.
Published September 14, 2001 by Algonquin Books. 321 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In this first book by a retired book reviewer for the Miami Herald, Suberman recounts the story of her family's sojourn as the only Jews in a rural Tennessee town in the 1920s.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Jew Store

Publishers Weekly

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In 1920, two years before the author was born, her family became the first Jews to live in the small town of Concordia, Tenn. Against the objections of his wife, Aaron Bronson, a Russian Jewish immigr

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ForeWord Reviews

She desperately misses Jewish names, Jewish food, Jewish talk.

Jun 15 1998 | Read Full Review of The Jew Store

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