Here is Anzia Yezierska's life story, from the Polish ghetto to the sweatshops of New York's Lower East Side, from success as a writer in Hollywood in the 1920s to disillusionment and a return to poverty. With courage and emotion, Yezierska reveals what success and failure felt like and what they meant to her, as a woman and as an artist....
|Title||:||Red Ribbon on a White Horse: My Story|
|Number of Pages||:||284 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Red Ribbon on a White Horse: My Story Reviews
It pains me to give such a blisteringly negative review to a book by a distant relative, but my great aunt Anzia Yezierska wrote a memoir that is neither amusing nor factual. It contains within it the worst sins of the rest of her writings, without the coherence and poignancy that save the best of her work. Red Ribbon is relentlessly banal in its prose and in its observations. The same emotional rollercoaster is taken again and again. Anzia feels worthless and without talent. Suddenly, somehow, things work out--she sells a story, she gets to hollywood, her book is published, she finds love. But each time, her neurotic insecurities prevent her from succeeding, she's dragged back into poverty and obscurity. She doesn't learn, she doesn't grow, she doesn't even go deeper into depression. I would have never finished this book had I not gritted my teeth and said "dang it, it must get better at some point!" Nope. Her daughter's afterword is far better written, and makes the subtle point that in her mother's memoir, what is most interesting is what was omitted and lied about. Anzia had ten brothers and sisters, and yet they scarcely make an appearance. She was twice married at an early age, but does not mention either. She was a mother, but you'd never know it from this book. She had a college education of sorts, at Columbia, and was befriended by the great John Dewey, with whom she had an adulterous affair. But that is left out, except that Dewey is disguised as a lawyer who hires Anzia and then breaks her heart. Anzia's story is one of triumph, I guess, in the sense that she became a famous novelist and writer in her second language despite the immense barriers of sexism and anti-Semitism. And her best book, Breadgivers, and a few of her best short stories, are worth reading. But this autobiography is only worth reading if you are writing a PhD on Yezierska. Otherwise, steer clear. It's terribly written, with no dramatic arc or compelling characters. Moreover, the few historical figures that cross into it, such as Richard Wright, and Will Rogers, and Sam Goldwyn, have very little of importance to say, and given how Anzia deceives the reader at various points, I have no confidence that they actually said anything remotely like what she has them saying.
This is one of my favorite books EVER. It is the story of how immigrant writer Anzia Yezierska became the J.K. Rowling of her day, how she lost it all in the Depression, and most of all, her yearning for the Judaism she left behind.
Anzia Yezierska arrived from the Pale of Settlement, without a penny or a word of English to her name. Her father told her she would amount to nothing. She worked in a sweatshop and studied English at night. Her stories about the people who populated her tenement and ghetto streets were rejected by numerous magazines until one of them one a prize. And the prize turned into a Hollywood contract and a glittering life. Then came the Depression, and, once again penniless, she joined the WPA Writers Project. A rare story, very layered, well-told.
Memoir of the great Jewish immigrant writer from the early part of the 1900's. Skips most of her personal life to focus on going from the extreme of poverty to the excess wealth of Hollywood when her stories were purchased for a movie. After that failure, she talks about working for the WPA during the depression. Read her novels and story collection, then check this out.
I loved the way she questioned how her life was changing. Even as her novels were accepted for publication, she never felt that she fit in. I particularly appreciated the class consciousness of her memoir & other books.
interesting so far.
I will definitely read her fiction someday soon.