Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

A Wife, Down and Out in Berlin
September 18, 2008

THE FORWARD — September 18, 2008

This Must Be the Place
By Anna Winger
Riverhead Books, 303 pages, $24.95.

Days after moving to Berlin from Brooklyn this summer, I fell into a deep funk. It was the kind of can’t-get-out-of-bed depression where at 5 p.m. you realize that you haven’t left the apartment all day — except once, and that was to get a donner kebab, the pervasive Turkish street food and Berlin’s answer to the New York slice. I knew that outside, out in Berlin, there were galleries to see and cafés to idyll in, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave. It all just seemed so gray, vast and empty. I was realizing that Berlin, with all its heavy history, could do this to a person.

It probably wasn’t the best idea, then, to start reading Anna Winger’s debut novel, “This Must Be the Place.” When the book opens, Winger’s protagonist, Hope, a third grade schoolteacher from New York, has also just arrived in Berlin, and fares even worse than I have. Drawn to Europe by a husband who spends his weeks in Poland — leaving in his stead a stack of books for his non-Jewish wife, with titles that invariably contain the words “Holocaust” or “antisemitism” — Hope hides out. (more…)

Is This the ‘Biggest Self-Righteous Arrogant Traitor’ Ever in School?
May 19, 2006

THE NEW YORK SUN — May 19, 2006

[This story was the first to be published about Trees’ book. It was later quoted in a number of other newspapers including The New York Times.]

Students aren’t the only ones working on research projects at some of the city’s elite private schools.

A history teacher at Horace Mann School in Riverdale has used his intimate view of the city’s movers and shakers to pen a novel about a leafy campus in New York City where 17-year olds drive Mercedes cars, take prescription drugs to boost their academic performance, and turn to seduction and plagiarism to guarantee a slot in the Ivy League.

“Academy X” is hitting bookstores this week and some parents are calling its author, Andrew Trees, a regular Benedict Arnold.

“I think this is the biggest self-righteous, arrogant traitor walking the face of the earth,” a member of the board of trustees at the nearby Riverdale Country School, Victoria Goldman, said. “He’s sending up the entire community that he works with, and that takes nerve.” (more…)