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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But the real food is God’s Holy Torah. She was so happy, as she began planning all she would buy next day. Her family immigrated to the Lower East Side of Manhattan around The three older daughters go along with his dogmatic and fanatical whims and attitude.

Bread Givers – Wikipedia

The way for a woman to get on is by identifying and capturing a reliable bread giver. It’s a fascinating story, and yezierskka recommended for anyone interested in American immigration history.

Every scene tends to carry me away. I said it before, but it stands repeating: It reads as fresh and possibly as scandalously as it did in 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. But from always it was heavy on my heart the worries for the house as if I was mother. Sometimes my task seemed almost hopeless.


The author tries to describe him as a man simply trapped in the Old World and really all together innocent, but it’s clear from his actions that he’s not.

And so, since men were the only people who counted with God, Father not only had the best room for himself, for his study and prayers, but also the best eating of the house. Americans, collectively, are obsessed with the notion of the “self-made man. That today we’re eating the last loaf of bread that the grocer trusted me? If we don’t pay up the rent very soon, we’ll all be in the street. Principal, school for the public.

How could I come down to geography and spelling? A fascinating portrayal of a Jewish daughter’s struggle to find herself in the chaotic world of the ‘s where the much-vaunted wealth of the ruling classes did not reach that of the struggling working class, where women’s rights were hardly recognized amongst the poor and the immigrant, and where patriarchy and religious oppression were powerful forces.

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

I felt the hunger of her family as they scrounged for food and warmth, the shame of being impoverished, and the singular hope of Sara’s brave spirit to live free from the shackles of oppressive patriarchy.

Jul 17, Shira Reiss rated it really liked it.

If only there had been more of this and less of the father, hahaha! This is the tale of a Polish-Jewish family who have immigrated to the teeming, impoverished ghetto of New York. Bread Givers, by Anzia Yezierska is a compelling book, not only in its vivid descriptions of life in New York City during the ss, but also in its look into an Orthodox Jewish family, and its standards. I hope they didn’t have to go through the life Sara did, but I tried to ask when they were alive and never got a clear picture.


Givrs will not and could not let her father do the same thing to her as he did to her sisters. Then she noticed that their table had a leg missing, and that is why it was so shaky.

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

I longed for the close, human touch of life again. The sequence of the stories is not similar to other surreal books you love to bury yourself in. Nevertheless, there’s a cost to this breaking away.

I was reminded of my own grandfather who had as much fault in his own death as the diabetes and strokes that were listed on his death certificate, the same sense of imperial entitlement.

He decides to purchase the store without his wife’s opinion, despite her pleading to go with him to make the deal. The same wizened, tawny-faced organ-grinder mechanically turning out songs that were all the music I knew of in my childhood.

I can’t imagine you can. Once, yexierska wife complained: