Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Starred Review for Rachel DeWoskin's REPEAT AFTER ME in Booklist
Rachel DeWoskin's first novel, Repeat After Me, earns a starred review in the April 1 issue of Booklist: "Cultures don’t so much collide as coalesce in DeWoskin’s sparkling debut novel, which follows the relationship of two people with more in common than their backgrounds would suggest. Aysha Silvermintz is a marginally neurotic, sublimely needy young instructor of English to immigrants in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Her student Da Ge is an intriguingly taciturn, softly menacing Chinese national who came to the U.S. in the wake of the Tiananmen Square uprisings. What they lack in fluid communication skills they more than make up for in shared emotional fragility, born of family tragedies and personal failures. Aysha falls instantly and secretly in love with Da Ge, lomg before he bluntly asks her to marry him so he can become a U.S. citizen. Aysha becomes pregnant, but before she can tell him, Da Ge commits suicide just days before his citizenship is finalized. Determined to understand what plagued this tortured, enigmatic man, Aysha moves to China where she’ll raise the daughter he never knew. Infusing her multicultural narrative with vibrant observations that glitter with laser-intense acuity, DeWoskin demonstrates a smart, sophisticated literary agility."