Monday, April 26, 2010

Leaving a Doll's House by Claire Bloom 1996

"She [Claire Bloom] also thinks that being Jewish in postwar London, where the word 'Jewish' was muttered under the breath of non-Jews, encouraged her to 'push myself up'." From an article based on an interview with Claire Bloom by Damian Whitworth in THETIMESONLINE, 12/09

In the early chapters of this memoir, the actress Claire Bloom who was born in 1931, talks in some detail about her family background and describes what it was like to grow up poor and Jewish in England. She also describes vividly the stress of the bombing during World War II and their temporary escape to America where they stayed with relatives in Florida.

Other than the family history which is covered mostly in the early chapters, this memoir deals with Claire Bloom’s development as an actress and with the many men in her life. The last third is dedicated to her eighteen years with the writer Philip Roth which is why the memoir received the attention it did in the press.

Includes photos
To read the first chapter, click here.

Author’s father’s side of the family
Blumenthal grandfather from “greater” Russia
Caroline – author’s paternal grandmother, born in Riga, Latvia
Bertha – second wife he married in South Africa
    Edward Blume (originally Blumenthal) – author’s father, born in Liverpool
    Isadore – Edward’s brother
    Dolly – Isadore’s wife
        Erica and Michael – Isadore and Dolly’s children
    David and Estelle Bloom– Edward’s brother and sister-in-law
        Richard and Shirley Bloom– David and Estelle’s children
    Freida – Edward’s sister in South Africa

Author’s mother’s side of the family
Henry and Paula Griewski – author’s maternal grandparents
    Elizabeth Grew – author’s mother, called Alice
         John and Sheila Blume – author’s brother and sister-in-law
    Mary and Victor Sheridan– author’s mother’s sister and brother-in-law
        Norma Sheridan – Mary and Victor’s daughter
London – east end, Cricklewood
New Milton
Forest Hills, Queens
Sharilawn – camp in Massachusetts

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