Ruta Tannenbaum: A Novel
Set in the Croatian city of Zagreb, then a part of Yugoslavia, in the period between the world wars Ruta Tannenbaum's central character is an ingenue inspired by the real-life figure Lea Deutsch, the now-forgotten Shirley Temple of Yugoslavia who was murdered in the Holocaust. Using their shared Jewish heritage as a starting point, Jergovic' constructs a fictional family history populated by historical figures with the precocious Ruta at the center. Stephen Dickey's translation masterfully captures Jergovic''s colloquial yet deeply observed style, which animates the tangled and troubled history of persecution and war in Croatia.
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