City of Slaughter by Cynthia Drew

27 Sep

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Fourteen-year-old Carsie Akselrod and her younger sister, Lilia, flee the Russian pogroms to live with relatives on New York’s teeming, dangerous Lower East Side. Like many Jewish immigrant Americans in the early 1900s, the girls go to work in sweatshops, eventually taking jobs at the ill-fated Triangle Waist Company, scene of the infamous 1911 industrial fire that claimed the lives of 146 garment workers. Set against Tammany Hall politics and gangland crime, City of Slaughter is a tale of a woman torn by family, faith, and her drive to rise from poverty, succeed in business, and claim her place in New York‘s world of fashion and society.Editorial Reviews

“… an excellent historical fiction novel that focuses on a Jew’s life under Pogrom Russia and in teeming New York. Fans will relish this strong look at the plight, dreams, setbacks and triumph of a Jew who is far from an American princess as she brings a spotlight on the first quarter of the twentieth century.” Midwest Book Reviews

“This rapidly paced novel kept me absorbed from the start as I followed the twists and turns of Carsie’s life. …” Phyllis Levin, Baltimore Jewish Times

“… It can be a challenge to go back in time and see the world through the eyes of another culture but the author has succeeded magnificently. A brilliant work of historical fiction, City of Slaughter is both heartbreaking and hopeful. …” Elena Vidal, Tea at Trianon

“…The author has obviously done her research; readers of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle will recognize this world…this is an interesting read. The strong theme of self-actualization will appeal to many female readers.” Historical Novels Review

“…Carsie (Akselrod) exemplifies a stubborn will to survive and succeed. The author employs much colorful detail in painting her characters and the historic time and setting.” ~ Jewish Book Council

“Bitter truths, sweet moments, and the gamut of human emotion thread together in Drew’s stark, detailed debut.. . . Taking on themes of women’s equality, parity for workers, and the role of immigrants in shaping their new countries, Drew stitches together a tale that will stun readers with what the human heart can withstand while never losing faith that hope lies just around the corner.” – Booklist

“This richly-textured, meticulously-researched novel is as expansive as it is exhilarating. With elegant language and immense energy, Drew creates a world in which hope is never entirely lost.” — Judy Goldman, Early Leaving

About the Author

Cynthia Drew’s short stories have appeared in many literary journals, including Perigee, Middle English Review, and Taj Mahal. The winner of Rapid River’s Short Fiction Prize, and Mountainland’s Humor Prize, she teaches Creative Writing at UNC/Asheville’s Reuter Ctr. She worked for several years in New York’s garment district, where she became aware of the sweatshops that even today are peopled by immigrants.


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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Writer/Author


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