"Dough is rising! More than just a story about bread or money, it's a beautifully written family memoir—with an astonishing twist!—that brings to life a vanished Lower East Side and the people who walked its streets. Mort Zachter's keen eye and humor will keep you reading way past your bedtime."
—Hettie Jones, author of All Told
"With a sense of detail as sharp as the perceptions of a quietly observing child and with the insight and compassion of an adult, Mort Zachter takes us back to the Manhattan of the sixties, where he gracefully and wittily examines the mysteries—and baffling complexities—of family, work, love and sacrifice."
"If Zachter shares New York with Volk and Gallagher, his writerly godfather is Calvin Trillin, who wrote with affection and restraint. . . . [Dough has a] similarity in tone—reserved and respectful . . . As is true of the best memoirists, he comes to a deeper understanding of himself—of what it means to carry on in the present, now that the past has been revealed."
—Los Angeles Times
"Rich in spirit and detail, Dough is a sweet, wistful, and eloquent tale of faith, family and the real meaning of wealth."
—Debra Ginsberg, author of Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress
"[A] small, wry memoir . . . that is miraculously loving and nonjudgmental as it is cleareyed."
—Anne Mendelson, New York Times Book Review
"This rich story pays off with honest but lighthearted discoveries about loyalty and wealth"
“Zachter charmingly portrays the changing Lower East Side. . . . Zachter never seems bitter, describing the discovery of his uncles' secret hoard with such surpassing sweetness and affection that readers won't dream of envying his newfound wealth . . . a warm family narrative.”
In Dough, Zachter chronicles the life-altering discovery made at age thirty-six that he was heir to several million dollars his bachelor uncles had secretly amassed in stocks and bonds. Although initially elated, Zachter battled bitter memories of the long hours his mother worked at the bakery for no pay. And how could his own parents have kept the secret from him while he was a young married man, working his way through night school? As he cleans out his uncles’ apartment, Zachter discovers clues about their personal lives that raise more questions than they answer. He also finds cake boxes packed with rolls of two-dollar bills and mattresses stuffed with coins.
In prose that is often funny and at times elegiac, Zachter struggles with the legacy of his enigmatic family and the implications of his new-found wealth. Breaking with his family’s workaholic heritage, Zachter abandons his pragmatic accounting career to pursue his lifelong dream of being a writer. And though he may not understand his family, in the end he realizes that forgiveness and acceptance matter most.
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