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Yekl and the Imported Bridegroom and Other Stories of the New York Ghetto
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Yekl and the Imported Bridegroom and Other Stories of the New York Ghetto

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  267 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Yekl (1896), the first novel upon which the much acclaimed film Hester Street was based, was probably the first novel in English that had a New York East Side immigrant as its hero. Reviewing it, William Dean Howells hailed Cahan as "a new star of realism."
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 1st 1970 by Dover Publications
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Irving Koppel

Abraham Cahan, author of "Yekl" and other stories, was the editor and
founder of the "Jewish Daily Forward". In these stories of life among
the turn of the century immigrants in New York, he gives us many insights
into the problems these newcomers faced as they were torn between two
very different cultures. The ways they adjusted and faced their new lives
make for fascinating reading and insightful analyses.
I initially hesitated to give this book four stars, for the simple reason that Abraham Cahan's prose is rather stiff -- understandably, given that Cahan learned English in his twenties and, even then, wrote primarily in Yiddish. Perhaps this explains why his works of fiction, including the short novel Yekl (1896) and the short story collection The Imported Bridegroom and Other Stories (1898), presented here in one volume, have not enjoyed quite the same level of acclaim as those by other realist ...more
I just discovered this realist writer, and as a Jewish immigrant himself, he has a true perspective to give. His stories are of Jewish immigrants in New York tenements (late 19th century) dealing with a life that is often harsh and destructive of dreams. I loved the realistic portrayal of the characters, the way Cahan didn't idealize anything. It was full of pathos and some humor, but mostly it revealed the realities of life. And all humans can understand that.
Yekl is a well written story about the Jewish Ghettos of New York. The frustrating main character, Yekl, is the epitome of an unsuccessful immigration. He comes to America and the more comfortable he becomes, the better he thinks he is. When he finally sends for his wife, he can't even stand her presence. She is too foreign, not enough American for him. Its a great read to understand immigration to American.
May 22, 2008 Maureen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Maureen by: Erin
Shelves: short-stories
Back around the time that the torch-bearing arm of the Statue of Liberty was assembled in Madison Square (as a way of raising funds to erect the rest of the statue), these stories were written. These are "slice of life" tales, beautifully elucidating the foreignness of life in New York for freshly landed Russian immigrants.

Well written, and definitely worth reading.
I read "Yekl" and "The Imported Bridegroom," but that makes up well over half the book, so I'm calling the book "read." I enjoyed these stories but I wonder if it's because the characters reminded me very much of my grandparents at times...
Abraham Cahan's collection of stories provides a vivid window into the lives of Jewish immigrants living in Yiddish New York and has a broader, universal appeal.
Jenna Los
This was a very enjoyable collection showcasing a subset of historic New York that I was unfamiliar with. They are short, easy reads for a drowsy Saturday afternoon.
This book is only interesting when viewed in its historical context, the backdrop of immigrant NY. I would NEVER read it outside of a mandatory class read.
I don't remember much from the story I had to read for class, except for the impression that the guy was a jerk.
Jun 18, 2011 El marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pause-button
The food poisoning knocked this one out of my field of interest at the moment. Will return to it later.
Really cool! An awesome way to get a picture of what America was like for early immigrants!
Kel Luken

Excellent. Thought provoking w/ regards to how it might feel immigrating.
Yiddish literature
Ian Parfrey
outside of "yekl" i have a hard time telling the other stories apart.
If you like stories about Jewish immigrants...
Mar 24, 2009 Tim added it
Be prepared for a lesson in Yiddish.
May 20, 2012 Matthew marked it as to-read
Queens / NJ (Bayonne)
(The Ghetto Wedding.) Meh.
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Abraham "Abe" Cahan was a Lithuanian-born Jewish-American socialist newspaper editor, novelist, and politician.

Source: Wikipedia.
More about Abraham Cahan...
The Rise of David Levinsky Yekl: A Tale Of The New York Ghetto The Imported Bridegroom A Ghetto Wedding a sweatshop romance

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