I remember, when my Mother died ten years ago, some woman – no, not some woman – it was my former writing coach, the author who toiled for two decades on the biography (finally printed in 2007) of her Warsaw-ghetto-grandfather whom she frequently extolled as ‘the Jewish Shakespeare’ – emailed a sort-of condolence in which she opined that losing a parent should be viewed as liberating. This from a woman who didn’t think much of her own contemporary ‘folks’, as she called them, but lived her life idolizing a man she barely remembered. I hated her bloody smugness, made all the more easy because all the family she had was a nutty ex-husband and two children she toked up with, to keep herself ‘in…

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