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

3.36  ·  Rating Details ·  299 Ratings  ·  21 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, 240 pages
Published June 1st 1970 by Dover Publications
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Deborah Feingold
Feb 18, 2016 Deborah Feingold rated it it was amazing
So happy I had to read this book for a class. Somehow I thought these stories of the lives of Jewish immigrants in the US at the beginning of the 20th century would be saccharine but quite the opposite. We see characters whose lives are transformed in unexpected and sometimes shocking ways. The last story is the happiest and one in which we see the type of cheerful resilience I always thought to expect from these types of tales. In other stories we see Terrible disappointment and even betrayal. ...more
Arielle Masters
Everyday life of new and recent immigrants in NYC around a hundred years ago. I read it to get an insight into what my great-grandparents' lives might have been like - most of my family came from Eastern Europe to NYC between the late 1890s and the early 1920s.

There were a lot of great details about clothes, furnishings, workdays, working pay, sending money back to the old country, finding a spouse in the old country, after-work entertainment, and living arrangements (both with and without board
Irving Koppel
Jan 10, 2009 Irving Koppel rated it it was amazing

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
Nov 13, 2011 Traci rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 20, 2009 Cat rated it liked it
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.
Nov 28, 2015 Maureen rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 25, 2011 Shari rated it really liked it
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...
Apr 04, 2010 Meg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
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
Apr 08, 2008 Jenna Los rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-school-mla
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.
Jul 15, 2008 Ivette rated it it was ok
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.
Feb 20, 2008 Heidi-Marie rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, for-school
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.
Aug 25, 2008 Shannon rated it really liked it
Really cool! An awesome way to get a picture of what America was like for early immigrants!
Kel Luken
Sep 26, 2012 Kel Luken rated it it was amazing

Excellent. Thought provoking w/ regards to how it might feel immigrating.
Dec 24, 2013 Angel rated it really liked it
Yiddish literature
Ian Parfrey
Jul 08, 2008 Ian Parfrey rated it it was ok
outside of "yekl" i have a hard time telling the other stories apart.
Aug 07, 2008 Joan rated it it was amazing
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)
Sep 29, 2008 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: ia-reading
(The Ghetto Wedding.) Meh.
Jim marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2016
Is added it
Sep 21, 2016
Nancy Jaquette
Nancy Jaquette rated it liked it
Aug 08, 2016
Abby rated it really liked it
Jul 12, 2016
Mgonzales rated it really liked it
Jul 12, 2016
Jules marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2016
Dominic Mitchell
Dominic Mitchell marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2016
Jared Chipkin
Jared Chipkin rated it it was amazing
Jul 09, 2016
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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...

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