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How I Found America
     

How I Found America

4.0 1
by Anzia Yezierska
 
In evoking the joy and pain of the Jewish immigrant experience, Anzia Yezierska has no peer. Her stories and novels, written from the 1920s to the 1960s, immortalized the Jews of New York's Lower East Side and their struggle to escape poverty and to partake of America's promise. How I Found America gathers together all of Yezierska's short fiction: the two

Overview

In evoking the joy and pain of the Jewish immigrant experience, Anzia Yezierska has no peer. Her stories and novels, written from the 1920s to the 1960s, immortalized the Jews of New York's Lower East Side and their struggle to escape poverty and to partake of America's promise. How I Found America gathers together all of Yezierska's short fiction: the two collections published during her lifetime--Hungry Hearts and Children of Loneliness--and seven additional tales. Each story is authentic and immediate, as memorable as family history passed from one generation to the next. taken together, they constitute an enduring portrait of a time and a people.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Groping, impassioned, incandescent, Yezierska's nakedly honest stories of Jewish immigrants on New York City's Lower East Side have universal appeal. Their insistent theme is the possibility for regeneration of self in America. Herself an emigrant from the Russian-held Poland around 1890, Yezierska (1880?-1970) created sympathetic characters nearly crushed by hunger, poverty, the drudgery of sweatshops, cruel bosses, evictions, loneliness, disillusionment. Yet her people, full of fierce longings, resolve to remake their lives. Her women are torn between a desire for ``home, husband, babies . . . a breadgiver for life'' and the urge to carve out an independent identity. This volume includes the two story collections published in Yezierska's lifetime, plus seven additional pieces. Of special interest are the autobiographical sketches in which Yezierska frankly discusses her climb from poverty to sudden wealth, her brief success in Hollywood, followed by neglect, silence, a slide back into poverty, and old age. (July)
Library Journal
The Jewish immigrant experience in all its joy and pain has been captured beautifully in Yezierska's work. Her stories and novels, written from the 1920s to the 1960s, immortalized the immigrant Jews of the Lower East Side of New York, particularly the women. This collection of 27 stories--virtually all her short fiction--includes the two collections published during her lifetime, Hungry Hearts and Children of Loneliness. In ``Wings,'' a recent Russian immigrant who works as a janitor of a building on the Lower East Side fruitlessly pins her hopes on a gentleman tenant. In ``My Own People.'' Yezierska, speaking in the third person, writes, ``Would she ever become articulate enough to express beautifully what she saw and felt?'' After all, her experiences were the stifling sweatshop, a meager night-school education, and a blinding desire to express herself. These are stories of old age as well, written in the 1960s when Yezierska's reputation had waned and she was living in poverty again. Her stories capture the passionate struggle of the human spirit.-- Molly Abramowitz, Silver Springs, Md.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892553808
Publisher:
Persea Books
Publication date:
10/01/1991
Pages:
330
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.88(d)

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