Lost in America

  • by Sherwin B. Nuland
  • Narrated by Sherwin B. Nuland
  • 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

He walks with me through every day of my life, in that unsteady, faltering gait that so embarrassed me when I was a boy. Always, he is holding fast to the upper part of my right arm. As we make our way together, my father - I called him Daddy when I was small, because it sounded so American and that is how he so desperately wanted things to seem - is speaking in the idiosyncratic rhythms of a self-constructed English.So Sherwin Nuland introduces Meyer Nudelman, his father, a man whose presence continues to haunt Nuland to this day. Meyer Nudelman came to America from Russia at the turn of the 20th century, when he was 19. Pursuing the immigrant's dream of a better life but finding the opposite, he lived an endless round of frustration, despair, anger, and loss: overwhelmed by the premature deaths of his first son and wife; his oldest surviving son disabled by rheumatic fever in his teens; his youngest son, Sherwin, dutiful but defiant, caring for him as his life, beset by illness and fierce bitterness, wound to its unalterable end.Lost in America is equally revealing about the author himself. We see what it cost him to admit the inextricable ties between father and son and to accept the burden of his father's legacy. In Lost in America, Sherwin Nuland has written a memoir at once timeless and universal.


What the Critics Say

"Written with enormous empathy, yet without a hint of sentimentality, Nuland's memoir is both heartbreaking and breathtaking" (Publishers Weekly)
"Nuland is masterly at holding to the vulnerable son's point of view and keeping the reader inside the experience. He brilliantly conveys the inner experience of depression as an effect on the emotional dynamics of family life." (The New York Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Exploring intergenerational legacies

I couldn't stop listening to this book. "Riveting" is an overused word but it describes this text. The author shares with us a stark, honest exploration of his family's history, dynamics and legacy of his parents' immigrant experience. His prose is clear and engaging, and the story he tells spares no one--least of all himself. This book helps me understand the tremendous price paid by this family of first and second generation immigrants in search of the American dream. And yet, in the end, it's a story of redemption and forgiveness and hope. A brave and healing tale.
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- Marilyn

Takes Prose to Previously Unseen Shades of Purple

I checked this book out on the strength of the adulatory reviews contained here. Big mistake. This is hands-down the most overwritten, ploddingly morose book I have encountered in a long time. Mr. Nuland is not a writer, but he's apparently read some bad ones, and consequently thinks that the marks of serious literature are ubiquitous adverbs; tangled, portentous sentences; and the pervasive aroma of the thesaurus. (He's obviously never read Steven King's "On Writing.") "Depilatory armamentarium" (for "medicine cabinet") and "mucoid secretions" (for "tears") will remain in my memory as benchmarks of bad writing long after everything else about this self-pitying, insightless book has mercifully faded away.
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- Walter

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-07-2003
  • Publisher: Random House Audio