The Mystery of Who We Are

September 10, 2014
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The Spoon from MinkowitzThe Spoon from Minkowitz
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Judith Fein

It takes an award-winning international travel writer to tell us a story of an epic journey to find the truth, the shrouded story about where she came from, what the Old World was like, and what remains of the places so many of our ancestors left behind when they came to America.

Judith Fein’s book “The Spoon from Minkowitz” is captivating readers who call it “one of the best memoirs” they’ve ever read, and “a powerful mix of personal story, history, and travel journey.”

With heart and humor, Fein takes us along as she treks through graveyards, has a private audience with the Gypsy Baron of Moldova, meets the last Jew standing, communes with the dead, quaffs cognac with Russians, wanders among ruins, and hears the call of the ancestors, driving her on.

Then the veil of modernity lifts, and Fein discovers what she calls “emotional genealogy,” the way our ancestors continue to impact our lives, loves, choices and behaviors, even if we don’t know who they were.

Cracking the mystery of who we are, why we love, and where we came from can be the greatest mystery of all.

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The Indie Author Life

In “The Spoon From Minkowitz,” Judith Fein writes:

When Paul told his parents we were getting married, his father offered us something very meaningful and personal: the only thing left from the shtetl. It was a soup spoon that his parents brought with them as they sailed in steerage from the old country to America. I held it, patted it gently, and treasured it because it made our ancient connection so real to me…


The ceremony started, and I have only two distinct memories of it: We recited our own wacky vows, and we made a place of honor under the chupa, on a satin pillow, for the spoon from Minkowitz.

“What’s the spoon for?” my mother whispered. “Are you using it for cough syrup?”

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