Daniel Wolff will talk about “How to Become an American” and “More Poems about Money.”
AUTHOR TALK DETAILS
Tuesday, May 23, 2023 – 6:00pm
6422 Montgomery Street
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/daniel-wolff-how-to-become-an-american-and-more-poems-about-money-tickets-602400134017
About the Author:
Daniel Wolff is an award-winning author of numerous books, including Grown-Up Anger: The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913 and The Fight for Home: How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back.
About the Books:
An odyssey from pre–Civil War Charleston to post–World War II Minneapolis through Jewish immigrants’ eyes
The histories of US immigrants do not always begin and end in Ellis Island and northeastern cities. Many arrived earlier and some migrated south and west, fanning out into their vast new country. They sought a renewed life, fresh prospects, and a safe harbor, despite a nation that was not always welcoming and not always tolerant.
How to Become an American begins with an abandoned diary?and from there author Daniel Wolff examines the sweeping history of immigration into the United States through the experiences of one unnamed, seemingly unremarkable Jewish family, and, in the process, makes their lives remarkable. It is a deeply human odyssey that journeys from pre–Civil War Charleston, South Carolina, to post–World War II Minneapolis, Minnesota. In some ways, the family’s journey parallels that of the nation, as it struggled to define itself through the Industrial Age. A persistent strain of loneliness permeates this story, and Wolff holds up this theme for contemplation. In a country that prides itself on being “a nation of immigrants,” where “all men are created equal,” why do we end up feeling alone in the land we love?
What do global combat and property ownership have to do with sex and sea turtles? According to Daniel Wolff-as it turns out, everything. More Poems about Money looks at the economic times we live in, from boom to bust, from the suburbs to the warzone, in a voice that ranges from humorous to desperate. Grappling with monetary value and how it infringes on self worth, Wolff asks simultaneously timeless and timely questions-Who has capital, who doesn’t, and does that ever change?-in a style both humorous and unflinching, sparing not even himself. “‘The market runs on credit,” Wolff reminds us, “which romantics call yearning. / A flame. Or a sonnet.” Yes, art also participates in capitalism as our lyrics stoke the fire of want, fueling this system and getting snuffed by it. Pivoting from the Great Recession toward today’s crisis, this undaunted book illuminates the transactions we aren’t supposed to talk about, beckoning us toward the future we can’t imagine… yet.