What makes for a life with meaning and merit?
Sederer’s conversational prose takes us on a pilgrimage, unique and yet universal, marked by unforeseen circumstances and happenstance. Each step builds on the last and arcs towards the possibility – if opportunity is paired with the hard work - of contributing to a better world and the dignity that spawns.
Our journey through Sederer’s boyhood in NYC is drawn by the book’s 14 stories. But this is more than a ‘coming of age’ tale: Each story is paired with an essay that probes its theme as well as its relevance to our lives today. The book moves between the past and present, in his life and that of so many others, portraying an arc toward the values and beliefs that serve as an inner compass for a life well-lived.
In the 1950s, America was coming of age. During the same time, in the north Bronx and within a Jewish family, so was Lloyd Sederer.
This is not exactly a log-cabin story. But yet, in this story and essay collection, Sederer wrestles with everything from family and family businesses, to mischief, from playing music to gambling and running away from home, from rich people and Jewish people, to cars, and much more.
Through a unique juxtaposition of first-person stories and essays that further their theme, Sederer attempts to frame his childhood years within the pillars of mid-20th century thought and values —that education, work, and enterprise were the formula for realizing the American dream, that family was the foundation for all of this, and how tradition is bred into our lives and tribes.
Through these tales from when he was 8 until 17, and their modern-day essay expositions, Sederer illustrates our times, and the perspectives gained as a family man, a psychiatrist and a public health doctor, more than five decades later.