How I Found America: Collected Stories of Anzia Yezierska

Anzia Yezierska, Author, Vivian Gornick, Introduction by Persea Books $24.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-89255-160-6
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)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Paperback - 978-0-89255-211-5
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-89255-298-6
Open Ebook - 978-0-89255-388-4
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