Emma Lazarus

By Esther Schor
(Schocken Books Inc, Hardcover, 9780805242164, 348pp.)

Publication Date: September 5, 2006

List Price: $27.95*
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Part of the Jewish Encounter series

Emma Lazarus’s most famous poem gave a voice to the Statue of Liberty, but her remarkable life has remained a mystery until now. She was a woman so far ahead of her time that we are still scrambling to catch up with her–a feminist, a Zionist, and an internationally famous Jewish American writer before thse categories even existed.

Drawing upon a cache of personal letters undiscovered until the 1980, Esther Schor brings this vital woman to life in all her complexity. Born into a wealthy Sephardic family in 1849, Lazarus published her first volume of verse at seventeen and gained entrée into New York’s elite literary circles. Although she once referred to her family as “outlaw” Jews, she felt a deep attachment to Jewish history and peoplehood. Her compassion for the downtrodden Jews of Eastern Europe–refugees whose lives had little in common with her own–helped redefine the meaning of America itself.

In this groundbreaking biography, Schor argues persuasively for Lazarus’s place in history as a poet, an activist, and a prophet of the world we all inhabit today–a world that she helped to invent.

About the Author
Esther Schor is the author of "Emma Lazarus", which received a 2006 National Jewish Book Award, and the editor of the" Cambridge Companion to Mary Shelley". Her essays and reviews have appeared in the "New York Times Book Review", the "Times Literary Supplement", and "The Forward", among other publications. Her first collection of poems, "The Hills of Holland", was a nominee for the "Los Angeles Times Book Awards". A professor of English at Princeton University, Schor lives in Princeton, NJ.
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