The University of Wisconsin Press

Memoir / Judaica / American Studies

The Tenement Saga
The Lower East Side and Early Jewish American Writers
Sanford Sternlicht

Terrace Books

"'Roots-gathering,' Jewish style!"—Sanford Pinsker, author of The Schlemiel as Metaphor

Nearly two million Jewish men, women, and children emigrated from Eastern Europe between 1882 and 1924 and settled in, or passed through, the Lower East Side of New York City. Sanford Sternlicht tells of his own childhood in this vibrant neighborhood and puts it within the context of fourteen early twentieth-century East Side writers who defined this new "Jewish homeland" and paved the way for the later great Jewish American novelists.

Sternlicht discusses the role of women, the Yiddish Theater, secular values, the struggle between generations, street crime, labor unions, and the importance of newspapers and periodicals. He documents the decline of Yiddish culture as these immigrants blended into "The Golden Land."

Sanford Sternlicht, author of many books, including Student Companion to Elie Wiesel and Chaim Potok: A Critical Companion, is professor of English at Syracuse University. This book draws upon Sternlicht's popular talks and lessons to students on field trips to the Lower East Side, where they experience its sights, sounds, history, and monuments (such as the famous Katz's Deli).

The Terrace Books logo is designed in the shape of a book with a Union chair in silhouette on the cover. The words Terrace Books, Madison, Wisconsin appear also.

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December 2002
LC: 2004012828 PS
188 pp.   6 x 9

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Cloth $45.00 s
ISBN 978-0-299-20480-8
Paper $17.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-20484-6
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