Angels on the Clothesline, A Memoir
The daughter of Holocaust survivors and recent immigrants, Ani Tuzman grows up in a world darkened not only by her parents’ unfathomable grief and rage, but also by the bewildering bigotry of her American neighbors, schoolmates, and teachers. Yet on the farm that is her home, Ani can’t help but find beauty and joy.
Ani doesn’t tell her parents that every day on the school busher hair is searched for her Jew-Devil horns or that she’s ganged up on at recess. She also doesn’t dare talk about the ecstasy of spinning in a meadow, the solace of writing to an unseen companion, or about any of the other secret sorrows and joys she believes she has no right to feel.
In her memoir, Angels on the Clothesline, Ani, the woman, bridges time to be the presence missing from her childhood. What opens up is an intimate account of vulnerability,creativity, and irrepressible resilience. We walk in young Ani’s shoes, see through her eyes, and witness, despite the burden of trauma, a child’s innate wonder that will not be extinguished and ultimately protects her.
Written in compelling vignettes of poetry and prose,
Angels on the Clothesline arouses our awe for the human spirit, as it reveals how easily we can wound and be wounded, and,through all this, choose to love. Ani Tuzman’s story, told with tender and unflinching immediacy, is an invitation to embrace ourselves and each other with the compassion that can free us.
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10
Plot/Idea: Angels on the Clothesline is a beautifully rendered memoir comprised of striking autobiographical vignettes. Tuzman, a daughter of holocaust survivors, reflects powerfully on generational trauma, bigotry, the refugee experience, and the challenges of navigating the world as a highly imaginative, sensitive child.
Prose: Angels on the Clothesline is written in startling and lyrical prose. The measured pacing of the vignettes and their graceful construction, provides a smooth and engrossing reading experience.
Originality: The originality of Tuzman's memoir lies in its execution. She eschews chronological storytelling in favor of distilled reflections on pivotal moments of trauma and transformation, while the use of second person contributes a level of quiet poetic power to the narrative.
Character/Execution: Angels on the Clothesline is a powerful, raw, and unflinching story of family scars and formative emotional experiences.
Date Submitted: October 08, 2023