Yezierska, Anzia (1880-1970)

The Anzia Yezierska collection consists of manuscripts by Yezierska and others, printed material, correspondence, audio recordings, and other items.

Manuscripts by Yezierska include drafts of five chapters of the book Red Ribbon on a White Horse (Scribner, 1950); several short stories, many in multiple drafts; articles and speeches, mostly from the mid-1960s; and notes and preliminary ideas for unrealized or uncompleted novels and stories.

Manuscripts by others in the collection include: works by Yezierska’s daughter, Louise L. Henriksen, including My War, research notes for Anzia Yezierska: A Writer’s Life, and drafts and notes for Terrorists, Illegals, Smugglers, Or At Least Spies ; two versions of a play titled The Bread Givers, one by Even Nisonson and another by Victoria Rose (based on Yezierska’s novel of the same name); Victor Stoloff’s play The Open Cage (also based on a novel by Yezierska); and manuscripts of two collegiate thesis papers written about Yezierska.

There are several sections of correspondence in the collection. The personal letters date from 1917-1969, and includes letters from Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Michael Blankfort, Joy Chute, Milton Hindus, Arnold Levitas (Yezierska’s husband), and Marchette Chute and Ms. Cecelia Ager. Also present are several letters between Yezierska and her daughter, Louise Henriksen. These include letters written by Henriksen from a World War II Red Cross facility in Papua, New Guinea. The collection also has a number of Yezierska letters which have been transcribed (typed) for use in Henriksen’s book Anzia Yezierska: A Writer’s Life. Professional letters include items to and from publishing companies from 1920-1927, as well as letters regarding copyright and invitations for Yezierska to speak at public events. A number of letters pertain to Louise Henriksen’s dealings with her own publishers between 1968 and 1995.

Printed material in the collection primarily consists of short stories and articles appearing in various magazines, including Commentary, Chicago Jewish Forum, Modern Maturity, The Reporter, Cosmopolitan, The Nation, as well as six book reviews done for the New York Times during the 1950s. Other printed items include several reviews of Yezierska’s books and publicity articles from 1923-1970. Besides clippings, there are also several issues of publications carrying articles and reviews on Yezierska, including The New York Times, Book Review Digest, Publishers Weekly, Midstream, and Jewish Monthly . One such item is Louise Heniksen’s article on Yezierska from Jewish Book World .

Audio recordings in the collection include Yezierska reading from Bread Givers, The Golden Cradle, and The Bird, as well as several other recordings.
Other items in the collection include Yezierska’s will, a passport, genealogical material regarding Yezierska’s family, several of Louise Henriksen’s journals, World War II memorabilia, and video cassette recording of a performance of Victor Stoloff’s play version of
The Open Cage .

Notable Figures
1. Yezierska, Anzia, 1880?-1970
Associated Subjects
1. Women's Studies Collections -- Novels and Short Stories Subject Guide
2. Literary Collections Subject Guide
3. Jewish Studies Subject Guide
4. Helen Deutsch Research Section
5. Russian Americans
6. Russian-American literature – 20th century
7. American literature -- Women authors
8. American literature--20th century
9. American literature -- Jewish authors