The Diamond Cutter's Daughter: A Poet's Memoir
The Diamond Cutter's Daughter: A Poet's Memoir might be thought of as a nonfiction bildungsroman. Told in short lyric pieces it gives a picture of what it was like to grow up in a working class Orthodox Jewish family in the wake of the Depression, WWII, and then the post-war boom. Her father's business was a luxury trade, useless when there was scarcely enough money to put food on the table. It reflects the first 20-some years of her life and of her household in Philadelphia during the 1940s and 1950s. She was born when the war in Europe had just begun, and the Depression that left her parents and so many others financially desperate was giving way to the new insecurity of wartime and at last, the post-war boom. Elaine was the daughter of an immigrant mother and a first-generation American father, both trying so hard to accommodate to the many changes in circumstance and culture they found happening around them, never quite understanding the America of their children.
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