A short Anzia Yezierska biography describes Anzia Yezierska’s life, times, and work. Also explains the historical and literary context that influenced Bread Givers . Bread Givers has ratings and reviews. BlackOxford said: Male LiberationA gem in so many dimensions: King Lear with an extra daughter, a proto. Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers (New York, ). Chapter 1: Hester Street. I had just begun to peel the potatoes for dinner when my oldest sister Bessie came in.

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I felt only the dark hurt of her weary eyes. A Personal History and Bulosan: She had little interest in domestic studies, for which her scholarship was granted, and she felt inferior to the Yeziegska students at the school.

Views Read Edit View history. And I couldn’t stop myself. This yezierwka the tale of a Polish-Jewish family who have immigrated to the teeming, impoverished ghetto of New York.

Sara, for example, manages to win over her initially aloof professors and college classmates, but making peace with her own father is much more challenging.

“New York Times” reviews Yezierska’s “Bread Givers” | Jewish Women’s Archive

From happiness to sadness, anger to calmness. Then you’ll have money for rent! Where will I put them? Ewell, and Humbert Humbert. I no longer saw my father before me, but a tyrant from the Old World where only men were people. I couldn’t help it.

The familial patriarch is Rabbi Smolinksy, and his wife is Shenah, who is in awe of him, despite her nagging manner. I guess you understand what I am talking about. Why don’t they pay her the rent [. Sara never gave up and still tried to make the best of her life without her father always nagging her.

Not the grocer, not the butcher. First, she must labor incredibly hard to work her way into the American dream. Books by Anzia Yezierska.

Her family immigrated to the Lower East Side of Manhattan around E-mail The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. I already saw all our things kicked out on the sidewalk like uezierska pile of junk.


I must see you. The father is so backwards and tyrannical that he almost seems to be a one-dimensional caricature, although by the end of the book you see how helpless he really is. I found this to be particularly true due to Yezierska’s simplistic, episodic style of narration, which skips from event to event, sometimes encapsulating whole years in two or three pages, and allowing most characters to remain mere sketches rather than rounded individuals. The three older daughters go along with his dogmatic and fanatical whims and breac.

Those most prone to the cultural myth of bread giving are of course men themselves, especially men steeped in the patriarchal culture of the Polish shtetl. The substandard wages they earned kept them in constant poverty. I found the prose style difficult to get into but the book was well worth the effort!

The youngest, dirtiest child in the lowest grade he treated with the same courtesy and serious attention as he gave to the head of the department. This book also raises a number of important issues in American history. She didn’t have the scared, worried look that pinched and squeezed the blood out glvers the faces of the poor. Yezierska won a scholarship to Teacher’s College, part of Columbia University in Line after line I found myself silently railing against the self entitled patriarch, and while I understand that much of his faults were enabled by social constructs I could not completely sympathize with his position.

In front of our dumb eyes we saw Father handcuffed, like givere thief, and taken away to the station house. A fascinating look into the experience of a first-generation American immigrant, torn between the familial pull of the Old World and the opportunities available in a vibrant New York. yesierska

Bread Givers – Wikipedia

The fact that this book was written in the ‘s and that it was not immediately recognized as a masterpiece of literary work, says much about American society in the turn of the twentieth century. During the s in news publications many ads were published encouraging Jewish immigrants with ties to their native home to donate and help Jewish workers in Europe receive a stable income. Mar 02, Yinglin Chen rated it really liked it Shelves: And I wonder if the mixture of “traditional” American values with Smolinsky’s Orthodox background, make for a particularly violent collision.


The masterful writing of Anzia Yezierska has given us an inspiring character to admire.

Seelig’s special hobbies was English pronunciation, and since I was new to the work, he would come in sometimes to see how I was getting on. And his ragged satin coat from Europe made him look as if he just stepped out of the Bible. In addition to brear stories and novels, Yezierska wrote book reviews for the New York Times.

In this case, the daughters were expected to earn enough money to provide sustenance for the family while their father was free to “study”, preach and dictate every whim of expected behavior.

“New York Times” reviews Yezierska’s “Bread Givers”

And while it may suffer from the embellishment and sentimentality of literature from it’s time, I think that only adds to it’s authenticity.

The features — all fineness and strength. Refresh and try again. I was also reminded of him when Sara comes home from college to find that her mother’s feet have rotted away from gangrene, and her refusal to have them removed beead save her yezierskw. Rage flamed from his eyes as he thundered at me, stamping his feet.