These fourteen stories by the acclaimed master of Jewish-Russian fiction
are set in the former USSR, Western Europe, and America. Dinner with
Stalin features Soviet Jews grappling with issues of identity, acculturation,
and assimilation. Shrayer-Petrov explores aspects of antisemitism and persecution,
problems of mixed marriages, dilemmas of conversion, and the
survival of Jewish memory. Both an author and a physician, Shrayer-Petrov
examines his subjects through the double lenses of medicine and literature.
He writes about Russian Jews who, having suffered in the former Soviet
Union, continue to cultivate their sense of cultural Russianness, even as
they—and especially their children—assimilate and increasingly resemble
American Jews. Shrayer-Petrov’s stories also bear witness to the ways Jewish
immigrants from the former USSR interact with Americans of other identities
and creeds, notably with Catholics and Moslems. Not only lovers of
Jewish and Russian writing but all discriminating readers will delight in
Dinner with Stalin and Other Stories.