Draitser, Professor of Russian at Hunter College (CUNY), resurrects-with great humor-the world of his Jewish childhood in the Soviet Union.
Emil Draitser was born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1937. He began his writing career first as a freelancer, contributing satirical articles for Soviet newspapers and magazines. His work appeared in leading Soviet Russian journals under a pen name, though he was eventually blacklisted for writing an article critical of an important Soviet official, which prompted him to leave for the United States. He immigrated to Los Angeles in 1974, where he earned a Ph.D. in Russian literature from UCLA. His first book published in the United States, Forbidden Laughter: Soviet Underground Humor (1980) garnered national attention. His essays and short stories have since been published in the Los Angeles Times, Partisan Review, North American Review, and many other American and Canadian periodicals.