Born in Transylvania at the turn of the century, Bella Cohen Spewack arrived with her mother on the streets of New York's Lower East Side in 1902 when she was three years old. At twenty-three, while working as a reporter in Berlin, she wrote this memoir of her early years. After returning to the United States, Bella and her husband, Sam Spewack, became successful playwrights, most notably for the Tony award-winning Broadway musical Kiss Me, Kate.
Spewack, a journalist and playwright, wrote this candid account of her childhood at the turn of the century in New York's teeming tenements when she was only 22, in the Twenties. Posthumously, her literary executors sought publication as a tribute to the remarkable woman who had overcome innumerable obstacles to lead an interesting and successful life. Raised by a mother who had been abandoned by two husbands and had to claw her way through the system to provide for three children, the young Bella did not have many opportunities or role models to guide her. Spewack vividly describes the poverty, the pettiness, the smells, and the cacophony that permeated tenement life. She breathes life into the cast of sympathetic characters who passed through her early years. Spewack's achievements can motivate and inspire struggling young women today. Easily read, this book is recommended for public libraries as well as for women's collections.-Carol R. Glatt, VA Medical Ctr. Lib., Philadelphia
The second of a projected six volumes on nations and their theatres since 1945. Sketching out a social and political context for each of the countries studied, articles explore each country's national theatre in 12 sections: history, structure of the national theatre community, artistic profile, music theatre, dance theatre, theatre for young audiences, puppet theatre, design, theatre space and architecture, training, criticism-scholarship-publishing, and further reading. Includes an introduction, several general essays on theatre in the Americas, and a glossary. For theatrical professionals and researchers on the profession. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)