Reviews for A visit to Moscow

Publishers Weekly
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An American rabbi’s visit to the Soviet Union gets adapted by Olswanger (Greenhorn) with evocative art by Nayberg (I Hate Borsch!) into a compact but potent graphic narrative. In 1965, Grossman (1933–2018) joins a group of other American rabbis on a visit to Moscow. He feigns illness to duck out of a planned tour and instead visits Meyer Gurwitz, brother of an American woman who pleaded for Grossman to investigate her brother’s well-being after not hearing from him for more than 10 years. Grossman wears down Meyer’s resistance and is invited into his home. There, he discovers that Meyer and his wife have a child, Zev, who has never left the apartment. Meyer believes Zev can only remain fully Jewish if he never experiences the forced assimilation of the state, which is represented visually in Nayberg’s warm coloring in inside scenes, contrasted against the grays of exterior landscape. Back in the U.S., Grossman attempts to help the family flee the U.S.S.R. safely. Nayberg’s picture book–styled pages sport a quasi-cubist look for characters employing a stylized flatness or abstraction, with soft gradient shadows throughout. Unusual angles that defy perspective and textured backgrounds that resemble crumbled paper represent the dangers of being Jewish under communism. This faith-affirming fablelike tale will make a ready gift book from older Jewish relatives to younger generations. Agent: Olswanger Literary. (May)