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One Foot in America

One Foot in America – A sweet coming-of-age novel about Shloime (Sol) Kenner’s first three years in America, as lived in a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn. The protagonist, a sort of Jewish David Copperfield, takes a job in a butcher’s shop to help his tradition father put bread on their table. The cast of characters includes a colorful assortment of Shloime’s relatives as well as pushcart peddlers, merchants, night-school students, communists, anti-Semitic bullies, and the girls with whom he falls in love. Some of the book’s most satisfying scenes take place on the boat coming over to America, while others, written in flashback, present gripping tableaux of his childhood “shtetl” in Galicia. Originally published in 1950, “One Foot in America” is a forgotten classic of Jewish immigration fiction.