Illustration for ‘All-of-a-Kind Family.’(Helen John, from All-of-a-Kind Family, Random House)
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‘All-of-a-Kind Family’ on the Lower East Side

Writers and historians discuss Sydney Taylor’s newly-reissued book series

Stephanie Butnick
November 05, 2014
Illustration for 'All-of-a-Kind Family.'(Helen John, from All-of-a-Kind Family, Random House)

Fans of Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, and Gertie, the sisters conjured by Sydney Taylor in her All-of-a-Kind Family books, were overjoyed to learn in May that Lizzie Skurnick would be reissuing the series under her new eponymous imprint. “These are not only personal favorites of mine and personal favorites of readers,” Skurnick said at the time, “they’re a piece of a very important period in New York history and in Jewish history.”

All-of-a-Kind Family, which was published in 1951–and which made Tablet’s list of 101 Great Jewish Books for its “intimate and marvelous portrait of Jewish religion, culture, and family for generations of readers”—told the story of five Jewish sisters growing up in turn-of-the-century New York on the Lower East Side. Tonight, Skurnick returns to the Lower East as part of the Tenement Museum’s Tenement Talks series, where she’ll be discussing the books, their author, and their legacy with Taylor biographer June Cummins, historian Hasia Diner, and writers Anna Holmes and Rebecca Traister. The free event starts at 6:30 p.m., and can be viewed online via livestream here.

Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.

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