Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Unterzakhn by Leela Coman

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight an upcoming release that we're excited about. This week I'm waiting on Unterzakhn by Leela Coman.

 A mesmerizing, heartbreaking graphic novel of immigrant life on New York's Lower East Side at the turn of the twentieth century, as seen through the eyes of twin sisters whose lives take radically and tragically different paths.

For six-year-old Esther and Fanya, the teeming streets of New York's Lower East Side circa 1910 are both a fascinating playground and a place where life's lessons are learned quickly and often cruelly. In drawings that capture both the tumult and the telling details of that street life, Unterzakhn (Yiddish for "Underthings") tells the story of these sisters: as wide-eyed little girls absorbing the sights and sounds of a neighborhood of struggling immigrants; as teenagers taking their own tentative steps into the wider world (Esther working for a woman who runs both a burlesque theater and a whorehouse, Fanya for an obstetrician who also performs illegal abortions); and, finally, as adults battling for their own piece of the "golden land," where the difference between just barely surviving and triumphantly succeeding involves, for each of them, painful decisions that will have unavoidably tragic repercussions.

Unterzakhn will be out April 3 2012.


  1. Wow! This does look exciting! Thanks for sharing.

    Here's MY WOW POST

  2. I read my first graphic novel last year -- and it was also one centered on immigrant themes -- Two Cents Plain -- in which the author recounted his experiences growing up as the child of Holocaust survivors who ran a candy store in Brooklyn. I loved it, and was hoping to find other graphic novels that were similar.

    This sounds perfect! I am so glad I saw your post :)

  3. Haven't heard of this one! Just starting to read some graphic novels and they are usually based off books I've already read and loved! But it's just too cool to see them in graphic novel form to pass up!

    Here's my WoW

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)


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