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Eleven Stories High

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This memoir evokes a girl's coming of age in a postwar New York City planned, "utopian" community.
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This memoir evokes a girl's coming of age in a postwar New York City planned, "utopian" community.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Demas displays fine skills of observation in an otherwise slight memoir of growing up in a unique apartment complex. Designed as an ideal middle-class community in Manhattan, Stuyvesant Town occupies 18 square blocks; its brick buildings shut out the bustling city beyond the perimeter. Opened in 1947, the complex housed 9,000 qualified families, who, according to the author, were white and predominantly Jewish. These new residents placed a high value on education and the arts; in a particularly enjoyable chapter about the prevalence of music lessons, Demas notes that pianos "seemed like basic appliances" in Stuyvesant Town. Demas's Greek parents fully shared their neighbors' values. A comfortable, two-career couple (her father was a dentist, her mother a high school biology teacher), they sent their only child to competitive public schools. The book is most lively and engaging when Demas describes her family: her father haunted by his WWII memories or enjoying the camaraderie of fellow Greeks; her mother, in true '50s style, handling the domestic responsibilities. But Demas's depiction of apartment living--elevators, laundry rooms, lack of pets and most significantly, the close proximity to neighbors--may be most revealing to readers unfamiliar with apartment life. Many readers, however, will want more insight into the psychological makeup of Demas's family and the talented author. B&w photos. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791446300
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 807,104
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

1. Stuyvesant Town

2. Elevators

3. Stores

4. Creatures

5. Games

6. Night

7. Dentistry

8. Music

9. School

10. Phones

11. Shopping

12. Girls

13. Biology

14. Woman's Work

15. Television

16. Greeks

17. Holidays

18. China

19. Subways

20. Cars

21. Kisco

22. Bricks


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2000


    This book was such a pleasure to read! I grew up in the suburbs of California during the 40s and 50s and let me tell you, MOST of our childhoods were like this one: good! My life couldn't have been more different as far as PLACE is concerned, but the emotions and the situations were exactly the same. I read a lot of memoirs and next to them and their DYSfuncional tales, this book was absolutely delightful! I hope it gets more publicity so we all can be reminded that youth was not AWFUL, but a time to grow and experience and enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2000

    Returning to my Childhood

    I received this book as a gift from my sister and it made my day! I grew up in Brooklyn in an apartment complex like Stuyvesant Town during the same time. So many things, Corinne Demas wrote about were about my life...Howdy Doody, Good Humor, roller skating, being Greek, and we even share the same last name! The book was so well written I couldn't put it down. It brought me so much joy! She made me feel like I was back in my youth and I could see and feel everything she wrote about. It is a must read especially for anyone of that generation, and especially if you grew up in New York.As a school teacher, I can't wait to read her children's books so I can introduce my students to this fine author!

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