The fortune teller's kiss - Brenda Serotte

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  • Publication Information:
    University of Nebraska Press
    Univ of Nebraska Pr, C/O Longleaf Services Inc, Po Box 8895, Chapel Hill, NC, 27515-8895
  • Publication Date:
  • Physical Description:
  • Language:
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      SEROTTE, B. The fortune teller’s kiss. [s. l.]: University of Nebraska Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-8032-4326-2. Disponível em: Acesso em: 8 abr. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Serotte B. The Fortune Teller’s Kiss. University of Nebraska Press; 2006. Accessed April 8, 2020.
    • APA:
      Serotte, B. (2006). The fortune teller’s kiss. University of Nebraska Press.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Serotte, Brenda. 2006. The Fortune Teller’s Kiss. University of Nebraska Press.
    • Harvard:
      Serotte, B. (2006) The fortune teller’s kiss. University of Nebraska Press. Available at: (Accessed: 8 April 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Serotte, B 2006, The fortune teller’s kiss, University of Nebraska Press, viewed 8 April 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Serotte, Brenda. The Fortune Teller’s Kiss. University of Nebraska Press, 2006. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Serotte, Brenda. The Fortune Teller’s Kiss. University of Nebraska Press, 2006.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Serotte B. The fortune teller’s kiss [Internet]. University of Nebraska Press; 2006 [cited 2020 Apr 8]. 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.)

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