This comic novel, first published in 1976, about a feisty Jewish girl child growing up in a wealthy bourgeois Brooklyn family in the 1920s is evoked by a conciousness witty, authentic, and memorable. Alone, Allegra must learn about what it means to be female, about sex, and about death. She must reconcile the bigotries and limitations of her difficult family, and give and receive love however she can. There are memorable scenes in school and summer camp, with friends, and with older girls and women. Throughout, the voice of Allegra remains compellingly defiant and lovable--and, as Tillie Olsen says, "braided with laughter."
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Allegra Maude Goldman is Edith Konecky's first novel, first published in 1976. She is the author of A Place at the Table (1989) as well as short fiction and poetry.Review:
"Allegra Maud Goldman. There's a whole plot in that name...I knew from the beginning that I would never fit that name." For Allegra, growing up is challenging on every front. Her father is rarely happy, her mother is rarely home, and her older brother just wants to practice the piano. Grandma stays in the background, except at Passover - then she is in the kitchen. Allegra questions everything, coming up with her own answers to what she sees through her young eyes, and her observations are fun and refreshing. She is the kind of child who drives her parents and teachers crazy: she's not bad, she's not mean, people call her precocious. But as Allegra observes: "...they never said it as though it were anything good to be." When she is forced to take home economics, she remembers her teacher as "a large, jolly-looking woman with a heart of stone." Her friend Melanie wonders about the home economics course: "if they're preparing us to be housewives and mothers, why don't they teach us something really useful like sexual intercourse?" To which Allegra remarks: "That's the kind of girl she was. Brainy." By the end of the novel, through Allegra's laughter and tears, we feel excitement for her future and realize she does indeed fit her name. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Holly Smith
Konecky declared the emancipation of the twentieth-century woman writer... -- Belles Lettres
Many, many readers are going to recognize just what she's going through and share it with pleasure. -- Publishers Weekly
One of those rare delights, a novel of childhood...that is as wise and true as it is funny... -- Ms. Magazine
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Book Description Harper & Row, 1976. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060124520
Book Description Harper & Row. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060124520 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1016849
Book Description Harper & Row, 1976. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060124520