Overview

THE statement that the Russian immigrant was one of our country's most serious problems has long since become a platitude.

In lengthy statistical tabulations and philosophical inquiries into the significance of difference in shape of skull between native and foreign-born children, we are familiar with him as we are with the anthropoid gorilla and the ictheosaurus. But as a ...
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HUNGRY HEARTS

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Overview

THE statement that the Russian immigrant was one of our country's most serious problems has long since become a platitude.

In lengthy statistical tabulations and philosophical inquiries into the significance of difference in shape of skull between native and foreign-born children, we are familiar with him as we are with the anthropoid gorilla and the ictheosaurus. But as a real human being how many of us can boast a genuine acquaintance with the immigrant? Very few.

Of that which brought him here, the suffering and oppression in his native country, the hunger for freedom, opportunity, life, the "dead generations whose faith though beaten back still presses on," and the vision of the golden land of promise across the Atlantic—of this side of his nature we know very little.

In the ten short stories of this book Anzia Yezierska lets us feel the throb of his heart and the catch in his breath as dazed and friendless he is toppled into the midst of New York for the first time, and fears that America, after all, is not quite the honey land of his dreams.

The author stages her characters with rare dramatic art. Gedalyeh, the pushcart man, who rejoices that his net profit of two dollars daily now gives him indisputable right to the title of "business man" with "mister" attached; and Shenah, the sweatshop girl, who lives in a room "scarcely large enough for a pushin of one person" and dreams of college heroes are not the wax tableaux figures nor the Punch and Judy puppets usually seen in stories of Ghetto life, but Anzia Yezierska's real neighbors across the alley. "The Fat of the Land," which appeared in Harpers', was selected by Edward J. O'Brien as by far the best piece of imaginative fiction of its time. Other stories well worth reading are "Wings," "The Lost Beautifulness," and "How I Found America," which gives the dark setting for the drama of immigration.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940015977523
  • Publisher: OGB
  • Publication date: 2/1/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 416 KB

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