Yezierska, Anzia

Yezierska, Anzia

(?1885–1970) writer; born in Plinsk, Poland. She emigrated to New York City with her parents (c. 1901), and studied domestic science at Columbia University. She lived in the ghetto of the Lower East Side, taught cooking (1905–13), was reportedly romantically involved with John Dewey, educator and philosopher, and was married twice. She wrote short stories, notably Hungry Hearts (1920), and on the basis of that publication moved to California, where her collection was made into a silent movie. After a brief stint as a screenwriter, she moved back to New York City, and continued to write novels about Russian Jewish immigrants, such as Salome of the Tenements (1922). She published her autobiography, Red Ribbon on a White Horse (1950), but her novels having gone out of fashion, she died in poverty.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.