My Mother's Wars

My Mother's Wars

Lillian Faderman / Jul 14, 2020
My Mother s Wars An acclaimed writer on her mother s tumultuous life as a Jewish immigrant in s New York and her life long guilt when the Holocaust claims the family she left behind in Latvia A story of love war
  • Title: My Mother's Wars
  • Author: Lillian Faderman
  • ISBN: 9780807050521
  • Page: 137
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An acclaimed writer on her mother s tumultuous life as a Jewish immigrant in 1930s New York and her life long guilt when the Holocaust claims the family she left behind in Latvia A story of love, war, and life as a Jewish immigrant in the squalid factories and lively dance halls of New York s Garment District in the 1930s, My Mother s Wars is the memoir Lillian Faderman sAn acclaimed writer on her mother s tumultuous life as a Jewish immigrant in 1930s New York and her life long guilt when the Holocaust claims the family she left behind in Latvia A story of love, war, and life as a Jewish immigrant in the squalid factories and lively dance halls of New York s Garment District in the 1930s, My Mother s Wars is the memoir Lillian Faderman s mother was never able to write The daughter delves into her mother s past to tell the story of a Latvian girl who left her village for America with dreams of a life on the stage and encountered the realities of her new world the battles she was forced to fight as a woman, an immigrant worker, and a Jew with family left behind in Hitler s deadly path The story begins in 1914 Mary, the girl who will become Lillian Faderman s mother, just seventeen and swept up with vague ambitions to be a dancer, travels alone to America, where her half sister in Brooklyn takes her in She finds a job in the garment industry and a shop friend who teaches her the thrills of dance halls and the cheap amusements open to working class girls This dazzling life leaves Mary distracted and her half sister and brother in law scandalized that she has become a good time gal They kick her out of their home, an event with consequences Mary will regret for the rest of her life Eighteen years later, still barely scraping by as a garment worker and unmarried at thirty five, Mary falls madly in love and has a torrid romance with a man who will never marry her, but who will father Lillian Faderman before he disappears from their lives America is in the midst of the Depression, Hitler is coming to power in Europe, and New York s garment workers are just beginning to unionize Mary makes tentative steps to join, despite her lover s angry opposition As National Socialism engulfs Europe, Mary realizes she must find a way to get her family out of Latvia, and she spends frenetic months chasing vague promises and false rumors of hope Pregnant again, after having submitted to two wrenching back room abortions, and still unmarried, Mary faces both single motherhood and the devastating possibility of losing her entire Eastern European family Drawing on family stories and documents, as well as her own tireless research, Lillian Faderman has reconstructed an engrossing and essential chapter in the history of women, of workers, of Jews, and of the Holocaust as immigrants experienced it from American shores.
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      137 Lillian Faderman
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      Posted by:Lillian Faderman
      Published :2020-04-18T10:57:01+00:00

    About "Lillian Faderman"

      • Lillian Faderman

        Lillian Faderman is an internationally known scholar of lesbian history and literature, as well as ethnic history and literature Among her many honors are six Lambda Literary Awards, two American Library Association Awards, and several lifetime achievement awards for scholarship She is the author of The Gay Revolution and the New York Times Notable Books, Surpassing the Love of Men and Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers photo by Donn R Nottage


    623 Comments

    1. I was very disappointed in this book having eagerly waited to receive it from the library The author is writing about her mother in America after having left Latvia It definitely keeps your interest but there s no real style to the prose she s just replicating what her mother told her The thing that really irritated me, though, was her extensive, over the top, use of similes Because of these, I almost gave up at the beginning but decided to grin and bear it and continued to read.



    2. I think we all have a good bit of knowledge about the Holocaust We ve heard about it in our history classes, we ve read books that have made us shudder, we ve watched movies where the brave usually American heroes come rolling into Germany and free the Jews Even as one hears the cruelty and antisemitism the Jews faced, one still finds oneself wearing rose colored glasses It s easy to forget what the rest of the world was doing that whole time Which was absolutely nothing Written from the perspec [...]


    3. It s been my personal experience that in hindsight, and after living many decades of my own life, am I able to understand my parents actions and decisions with thoughtful and empathetic eyes I believe this might be the case for Faderman Her mother, Mary, was only seventeen when she came to the U.S in 1914 She begins her new life in America with her half sister and judgmental brother in law Mary quickly ends up by herself, alone in America working in a garment factory for paltry wages, over long [...]


    4. This book is a kind of a cross between a novel and a factual work the author enters her mother s head and tries to reconstruct what she must have been thinking.The book describes the life and hard times of the author s mother, Mereleh anglicized as Mary , between 1914 when she moved from Latvia to the United States at the age of 18 until the early 1940s when the author was born focusing especially on the 1930s when the author s mother was sucked into a failed relationship with a man who was neve [...]


    5. I read My Mother s Wars in exchange for review on Netgalley The book was written by Lillian Faderman and published by Beacon Press.The book provides an account of Mary, who moved from Latvia to New York for better opportunities Mary experienced life through relationships and abortions She finally fell in love with Faderman s fatherFaderman and her mother had an excellent relationship Her mother shared her experiences with her.Faderman s mother got kicked out of home at 17 years old by her half s [...]


    6. Lillian Faderman has written a memoir that is as much about her mother, Mary, as it is about herself Faderman, a noted author and gay scholar, was born when her mother was 44 years old She was the child of an affair between her mother and a man named Federman, who never married Having an illegitimate child in 1940 was an unconventional act in an otherwise conventional time But Mary Lifton had never lived a conventional life, from her early days in Latvia to her emigration to the United States an [...]


    7. There s an old saying May you live in interesting times It can be taken as a blessing or a curse Lillian Faderman s mother lived both meanings of it.Escaping from the poverty of a Latvian shtetl in 1914, she finds herself working long hours, six days a week, doing piecework in a garment factory in New York Mareleh Luft struggles to learn English and changes her name to Mary Lifton to Americanize herself When she left Latvia at 17, she promised her younger brother she would send for him, but savi [...]


    8. I wanted to read the book because it was a story written by a daughter about her mother and I m partial to such stories, it wound up being about much than their relationship alone The book is a tender and thoughtful re imagining of Lillian Faderman s mother s life as a garment worker in the 1920 s in the Unite States as well as a stab at understanding her mother s decisions Her mother s life is fraught with difficulties, chiefly Lillian Faderman s father s injustice towards her mother and the e [...]


    9. I received this book from a giveaway with GoodReads To be honest I thought it would be a beginner writers book and did not expect much, but I love to read new books and discover new authors I was most pleasantly surprised This book is very well written Not only that, I found it impossible to put down It has been a very long time since I have been able to say that about any book that I have read Lillian Faderman tells this story in her mothers voice Her mothers struggles with life in the 1930 s i [...]


    10. I started this one while on a vacation, so it took me a little longer to read It was interesting to me, as I research the early 20th century European Jewish immigration to NYC This was a great history as well for those that were left behind in, in this case, Latvia I cried at the end, as I read of the personal horrors this family suffered in the holocaust The worry and stress that the immigrants felt for their families, but there was nothing they could do, as the USA wouldn t allow than a certa [...]


    11. Well researched and beautifully written, the author tells the story of her mother s difficult life An immigrant to American in 1914, she s forced to support herself after her brother in law kicks her out of his home because of her wild behavior It s not long before she takes up with the author s father, but many years pass before the author is born What struck me was the detailing of what immigrant Jews suffered in America trying to get their families out of Hitler s Europe Seems like our countr [...]


    12. I loved this book I could not put it down I read it all in one day, which is something I hardly ever do I love the way she tells her mother s story I love the writing I would have liked but then it would have been the author s story and not her mother s.


    13. It was interesting but a little slow I wish there was information about the war, but I think the author succeeds in capturing the despair of her mother, who was powerless in America while her family was in Poland during the Second World War.


    14. true story of emigrants life and struggle to survive in America as her Jewish family in Latvia and Jewish people are murdered in ww11 and years before her daughter, born when she was 43, writes the story a sad story of loneliness and hard times


    15. Pretty brutal, but also a fascinating look at pre WWII NYC and the Jewish community there It s meant as a memoriam to the author s mother and her family, most of whom died in Latvia in the Shoah, and it s written very effectively and emotionally I m sure there are comprehensive looks at that period, but this was certainly the most evocative that I ve read.


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