The fortune teller's kiss / Brenda Serotte.

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  • Additional Information
    • Content Notes:
      Turks -- Fortuna -- Lost -- Contagious -- Grace -- Northern lights -- Quiche lorraine -- Celebrity.
    • ISBN:
      9780803243262 (cloth : alk. paper)
      080324326X (cloth : alk. paper)
      9780803253872 (electronic)
      0803253877 (electronic)
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      SEROTTE, B. The fortune teller’s kiss. [s.l.] : University of Nebraska Press, 2006. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 20 ago. 2019.
    • AMA:
      Serotte B. The Fortune Teller’s Kiss. University of Nebraska Press; 2006. Accessed August 20, 2019.
    • APA:
      Serotte, B. (2006). The fortune teller’s kiss. University of Nebraska Press. Retrieved from
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Serotte, Brenda. 2006. The Fortune Teller’s Kiss. American Lives. University of Nebraska Press.
    • Harvard:
      Serotte, B. (2006) The fortune teller’s kiss. University of Nebraska Press (American lives). Available at: (Accessed: 20 August 2019).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Serotte, B 2006, The fortune teller’s kiss, American lives, University of Nebraska Press, viewed 20 August 2019, .
    • MLA:
      Serotte, Brenda. The Fortune Teller’s Kiss. University of Nebraska Press, 2006. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Serotte, Brenda. The Fortune Teller’s Kiss. American Lives. University of Nebraska Press, 2006.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Serotte B. The fortune teller’s kiss [Internet]. University of Nebraska Press; 2006 [cited 2019 Aug 20]. (American lives). Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2006 February #2

Serotte's memoir tells of her growing up in the Bronx in a Sephardic Jewish family among Ashkenazi neighbors. She writes of her Turkish-born relatives, their customs and rituals, and how she came down with polio shortly before her eighth birthday. "One day I was a wild child, running and free; the next, an invalid surrounded by weeping women." She tells of the High Holy Days in the Sephardic synagogue attended by the "marginally poor." There were candy-store owners, factory workers, shoe salesmen, and the occasional professional. Descriptions of her family members are what make this memoir a joy to read. All of Serotte's parents' differences were dissolved when they were dancing, and one of her grandmother's fortune-telling abilities enabled her to determine a person's future by reading grounds left in a cup of Turkish coffee. Much of The Fortune Teller's Kiss chronicles the author's recovery from polio. Serotte is a marvelous storyteller, and this book, one of the American Lives Series, is a profoundly moving memoir. ((Reviewed February 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2006 January #1

Poet Serotte relives a childhood cataclysm in this culture-rich, affecting memoir, part of the American Lives literary nonfiction series. In 1954 she contracted polio, mere months before Jonas Salk perfected his vaccine--a coincidence that struck her Sephardic Jewish household as especially cruel. In this lively subculture, a minority among even New York City's Jews, Serotte earned high praise for her beauty, grace and belly dancing, grooming herself for the proverbial sultan's harem. Old World mysticism imbued everyday life, adding color to a bleak immigrant aesthetic. The family matriarch, Nona Behora, was revered for her ability to read fortunes in Turkish coffee grounds; before her death, she divined misfortune for the author, her granddaughter. The family desperately spouted medieval benedictions to deflect the evil eye, but a prolonged, agonizing hospital stay forced Serotte to work her own miracles with "courage I pulled from somewhere." She explores the identity that confounds her: first, her "bouillabaisse" blood line and, later, the immobility that suspends her between "normal" and "special," as she limns her family with wry affection that doesn't blot out their flaws. The drama of Serotte's struggle to walk again, filtered through the tender emotion of youth, creates an aromatic narrative brew that reveals her destiny in riveting detail. (Mar.)

[Page 49]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.