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Sternlicht to discuss turn-of-the-century Jewish emigration March 7 at Barnes & Noble
Sternlicht to discuss turn-of-the-century Jewish emigration March 7 at Barnes & NobleMarch 03, 2005Edward Byrnesedbyrnes@syr.edu
Sanford Sternlicht, part-time professor of English and Judaic Studies in The College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University, will read from and discuss his latest book, “The Tenement Saga: The Lower East Side and Early Jewish American Writers” (2004, Terrace Books), March 7 at 7 p.m., at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore on Erie Boulevard in DeWitt.
In “The Tenement Saga,” Sternlicht tells the story of his own childhood on the Lower East Side of New York City and situates his experience within the context of significant early 20th-century East Side writers such as Anzia Yezierska, Abraham Cahan, Michael Gold and Henry Roth. The first part of the book offers a history of the Lower East Side from approximately 1882 to 1924, the years of the great Jewish migration from Eastern Europe to the United States, when nearly 2 million Jewish men, women and children emigrated from Eastern Europe and settled in or passed through the area. The second part, informed by the author’s own vivid memories, describes life on the Lower East Side. The third part presents a critical and biographical study of 14 early Jewish American writers who were either brought as children from Eastern Europe to the Lower East Side, or born in that once-Jewish ghetto.
Sternlicht’s “Saga” discusses the role of women in East Side life, the pleasures of Yiddish theater, secular values, the struggle between generations, street crime, the role of Tammany politics, the development of labor unions and the importance of newspapers and periodicals. He documents the decline of Yiddish culture as these immigrants blended into what they called “The Golden Land” and paved the way for the great Jewish American novelists of the second half of the 20th century.
Sternlicht is the author of numerous works, including his recent “A Student Companion to Elie Wiesel” (2003, Greenwood Press) and “A Reader’s Guide to Modern American Drama” (2002, Syracuse University Press). Other works include “C.S. Forester and The Hornblower Saga” (1999, Syracuse University Press); “A Reader’s Guide to Modern Irish Drama” (1998, Syracuse University Press); “New Plays from the Abbey Theatre 1993-1995, 1996” (1996, Syracuse University Press); and “All Things Herriot: James Herriot and His Peaceable Kingdom” (1995, Syracuse University Press).
Sternlicht is the recipient of several awards for writing and for excellence in teaching. He was awarded a 1994 Research and Travel Grant to Northern Ireland by the British Council, and The English-Speaking Union awarded him Sir Evelyn Wrench Travel/Lecture Grants in 1997 and 1998.
He earned his Ph.D. in English from SU in 1962, and began teaching at SU in 1986.