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Hungry Hearts And Other Stories

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  181 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Anzia Yeziersska was the first Jewish-American woman to achieve wide recognition for her stories. These are powerfully told tales of the hardships of discrimination and assimilation faced by the immigrants who populated New York's slums, of the determined women who strive to overcome their humble beginnings, and of their fierce desire to attain the "American Dream".
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Published April 1st 2001 by Persea Books (first published 1920)
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Kressel Housman
Aug 15, 2011 Kressel Housman rated it really liked it
This is a collection of short stories by Anzia Yezierska, of whom I was a die-hard fan in my early 20's. I liked her novels better, but all her writing is the same: set amongst Jews of the Lower East Side and featuring a female protagonist desperate to get out. The best and longest story in this collection is "The Fat of the Land," and it won "Best Short Story of 1920" and was made into a film. But the quote I remember best was from another of her stories about heartbreak: "I've breathed the air ...more
Elizabeth
Aug 16, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There aren't enough stars to rate this work and I don't think this is a work that should be rated. I will however give it the highest number in the currently popular star rating system, FIVE.
Attaching stars to this book though feels like I'm sullying her and her author.

If I were told that I could only have ten books for the rest of my life, this would be one of them.
Jennifer S. Brown
Nov 21, 2015 Jennifer S. Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jewish-books
Yezierska wrote these stories in the late 1910s, and this collection was published in 1920. The stories are quite raw in that they are unvarnished, and show what the life of the immigrant was in the early 20th century. It's quite a glimpse at a rough period and the despair and demeaning way of life is eye opening. The stories are uneven, but "The Fat of the Land," about an immigrant mother whose children made good, was so beautifully captured it and rendered so clearly, it gave me new insight in ...more
Saz
Mar 22, 2015 Saz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, fiction
I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway contest!

Contrary to what the stars say, I actually enjoyed this collection of short stories. I first want to begin by saying I gave it 2 stars because these stories have real and factual elements to them, but ultimately they were fiction. Some people enjoy that. I, personally, prefer the raw story - no fictional elements. I understand that that was the entire point of this set of stories. Authors do that a lot, but it's simply not what resonates
...more
Laura
Nov 30, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
3.5 Stars.

In general, short stories aren't my favorite thing to read, but I enjoyed this collection. The author did a great job of capturing the immigrant experience and of writing about different experiences. There were some stories that I enjoyed a lot more than other, but I didn't dislike any of them. I would definitely recommend this collection to people who enjoy short stories.

Received from NetGalley.
Elsie Klumpner
Feb 13, 2014 Elsie Klumpner rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read about 2/3 of the book. The author wrote in the early 20th century about the immigrant experience, probably most Jewish, probably set in New York. The book is made up of a number of stories, each about different characters. Each story is about an immigrant with a "hunger" hence the title. The stories are very sad and affecting. The atmosphere is chaotic, with many of the characters living with a panicky desperation as they worry about finding their place in America and often about also fin ...more
Gena DeBardelaben
Feb 15, 2015 Gena DeBardelaben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC: Netgalley

An intimate glimpse into the lives of Jewish immigrants in the early 1900's. I love books from this time so this was right up my alley.
Brenda Schneider
Feb 18, 2015 Brenda Schneider rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A touching collection of stories that capture the immigrant experience. I received this book from the goodreads program.
Joanna
A very readable collection of short stories about immigrants in New York in the early part of the 1900s. The women who populate these stories are all searching for themselves and for their piece of the American dream that they bet on when they left their villages in Poland and Russia to come to New York. The women now find themselves barely scraping by while trying to break free from the poverty and daily grind of children and sweatshops. I found the characters compelling and their voracious des ...more
Ian Chapman
Apr 06, 2015 Ian Chapman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Optimistic writing, despite the sometimes sombre themes.
Oanh
Apr 05, 2015 Oanh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Excellent. A powerful evocative voice.
Joe
May 02, 2014 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This is about as saccharine and sentimental as it gets.
Liz
Jan 24, 2008 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Falling under the genre of "working girl's fiction," these stories are all about Eastern European immigrants in New York in the 1920. As the title implies, all of the characters are hungry for various things: to be an American, to be educated, to be loved, etc. Very readable, I enjoyed it very much. Interesting side note: apparently Yezierska was the first author to use Yiddish expressions in her characters' dialogue. Hm! The things you learn when you read the introduction!
Laura
May 18, 2008 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
overall i thought this book was pretty good...it's a collection of short stories dealing with the lives of Jewish immigrant women. Some of the stories i thought were really good, others not so...
Maile
Jun 03, 2012 Maile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps it's my own family connection to the stories, but Yezierska's work touches me. I find her stories fascinating, and her protagonists heartbreaking.
Abby
Aug 10, 2015 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the messages in this book, and the stories are all really humbling. The writing tended to be melodramatic, though.
Brenda Schneider
Feb 19, 2015 Brenda Schneider rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting stories of the immigrant experience. I received this book as part of the good reads program.
Ronald
Dec 20, 2015 Ronald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Hungry Hearts" was Anzia's first book. See my rating for "The Open Cage."
Jsharp
Oct 19, 2008 Jsharp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yezierska always comes through.
Ryan Mishap
Nov 09, 2008 Ryan Mishap rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-novels
You. Read. Now. Short story collection.
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2494
Date of Birth: 1885
Date of Death: 1970

Anzia Yezierska, the youngest of nine children, was born into poverty circa 1885 in Russian Poland. Her family immigrated to the Lower East Side of Manhattan around 1892. Immigration officials used the oldest child's name, Mayer, as the last name of the family and switched Anzia's name to Harriet, and so she became Hattie Mayer. After attending elementary scho
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“For a little while when we were lovers I breathed the air from the high places where love comes from, and I can't no more come down.” 10 likes
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