Nova Southeastern University, Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, Fort Lauderdale, FL, adjunct professor.
The Blue Farm (poetry), Ginninderra Press (Charnwood, Australia), 2005.
The Fortune Teller's Kiss (memoir), University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 2006.
Brenda Serotte grew up in the Bronx in a family of Sephardic Jews who had emigrated from Turkey. Her childhood experiences were unique for a number or reasons, including the rituals and traditions of her family members and a grandmother who was renowned for her fortune-telling abilities; Serotte was also trained as a child to become a belly dancer. At the age of seven, however, she contracted polio, ironically on the same day the newly developed polio vaccine was deemed "safe" for mass inoculation. She spent several months in a hospital rehabilitating and regaining the ability to walk. Serotte's memoir, The Fortune Teller's Kiss, recounts her family's reliance on Old World customs in an attempt to cure her illness, her mother's inability to come to grips with her daughter's potential disability, her experiences with fellow patients in the polio ward, and the impact the disease had on her own identity. In a review for Booklist, George Cohen remarked that Serotte is a "marvelous storyteller" and that The Fortune Teller's Kiss is a "profoundly moving memoir." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly commented that Serotte "creates an aromatic narrative brew that reveals her destiny in riveting detail."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 15, 2006, George Cohen, review of The Fortune Teller's Kiss, p. 34.
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2006, review of The Fortune Teller's Kiss, p. 34.
Publishers Weekly, January 2, 2006, review of The Fortune Teller's Kiss, p. 49.
Brenda Serotte Home Page,http://www.brendaserotte.com (December 5, 2006).