No Words to Say Goodbye NO WORDS TO SAY GOODBYE Raimonda Kopelnitsky and Kelli Pryor (Hyperion, $22.95) "This language ruined my real name," wails Raimonda Kopelnitsky in her darkly delicious… Memoir
Book Review

NO WORDS TO SAY GOODBYE

Details Writers: Kelli Pryor, Raimonda Kopelnitsky; Genre: Memoir

NO WORDS TO SAY GOODBYE Raimonda Kopelnitsky and Kelli Pryor (Hyperion, $22.95) ''This language ruined my real name,'' wails Raimonda Kopelnitsky in her darkly delicious diary. Her first name had been misspelled in English on her green card and other documents. This Russian Jewish girl began writing in 1989, at age 11, when her family fled the Ukraine's anti-Semitism and hideous radiation sickness. (After Chernobyl, raindrops glowed, and ''all the little leaves in the tree were flashing like ghosts.'') Shortly after arriving in America, Raimonda met Kelli Pryor, an Entertainment Weekly contributor, who encouraged her writing and snagged a book deal for her diary. In it, Raimonda complains like any teen: ''Oh, God, I need my own room.'' But she also mourns: ''I miss my grandparents, like a part of me is waiting and a part of me lives.'' Her commentary on her new life is soberly hilarious: ''I am reading a book. It is full of adventures and happiness, but the author needed to finish this book so the hero died.'' Unlike that hero, Raimonda lives. She is 16 now, with many years to fill many more diaries. Long may she write. A- Kate Wilson

Originally posted Mar 04, 1994 Published in issue #212 Mar 04, 1994 Order article reprints
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