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9780062287885 Winner of the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award Winner of the American Library Association's Sophie Brody Medal Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award A singularly talented writer makes his literary debut with this provocative, soulful, and sometimes hilarious story of a failed journalist asked to do the unthinkable: Forge Holocaust-restitution claims for old Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York. Yevgeny Gelman, grandfather of Slava Gelman, â€œdidnâ€™t suffer in the exact wayâ€ he needs to have suffered to qualify for the restitution the German government has been paying out to Holocaust survivors. But suffer he hasâ€”as a Jew in the war; as a second-class citizen in the USSR; as an immigrant to America. So? Isnâ€™t his grandson a â€œwriterâ€? High-minded Slava wants to put all this immigrant scraping behind him. Only the American Dream is not panning out for himâ€”Century, the legendary magazine where he works as a researcher, wants nothing greater from him. Slava wants to be a correct, blameless Americanâ€”but he wants to be a lionized writer even more. Slavaâ€™s turn as the Forger of South Brooklyn teaches him that not every fact is the truth, and not every lie a falsehood. It takes more than law-abiding to become an American; it takes the same self-reinvention in which his people excel. Intoxicated and unmoored by his inventions, Slava risks exposure. Cornered, he commits an irrevocable act that finally grants him a sense of home in America, but not before collecting a price from his family. A Replacement LifeÂ is a dark, moving, and beautifully written novel about family, honor, and justice.