Since my memoir Bobby in Naziland: A Tale of Flatbush was published in September, I've done a number of readings (with more to come) at bookstores, a temple, and at private events. Most of these readings were followed by Q&A sessions, and one question that people have asked at almost every event is: Why that title?
A cousin who'd read the book and then invited me to speak to her book club told me, "I love the book but I hate the title. If I were your publisher, I'd make you change it."
I've seen similar sentiments posted online. One person said a generic title, like A Jewish Childhood, would have been better.
I've lived with Bobby in Naziland for years and the title stuck—because it's a true and accurate title, and I like the allusion to Alice in Wonderland. To me, it's the only possible title.
In the above video, I read the beginning of Chapter 3, "Heil Irwin!" It's the passage I read last week, at the event "Bobby on Beaver Street." It's one of the passages I will read February 1, 2020, at Books & Books, in Coral Gables. And it's one of the many passages that should clarify why I chose Bobby in Naziland as the title.
The next Bobby in Naziland event is 7 P.M., Saturday, February 1, 2020 at Books and Books in Miami.