Grace Paley (1796 words)


American short-story writer, poet and activist, Grace Paley was born in the Bronx, New York, the third child of Manya and Isaac Gutseit (subsequently Americanized to Goodside). Her parents were Russian Jews who emigrated together from the Ukraine to the US in 1906 at the age of twenty-one, having been previously exiled for radical activities by Czar Nicholas II (Isaak to Siberia, Manya to Germany), then released by the amnesty following the birth of the czar’s son. Isaac’s New World trajectory is echoed by one of Paley’s fictional characters, who, under “the protection” of the American flag “and working like a horse . . . [had] read Dickens, gone to medical school, and shot like a surface-to-air missile right into the …

Citation: Heller, Deborah. "Grace Paley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 August 2011 [, accessed 21 October 2020.]

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