Ann S. Epstein presents her historical fiction novel Tazia and Gemma
Praise for Tazia and Gemma
“This is compulsively readable fiction: vivid, curious, and moving. It’s also an intimate chronicle of early twentieth-century American history that needs to be remembered right now. The daily lives of working-class people, immigrants, minorities, and women—Epstein tells their stories with the attentiveness and dignity they deserve. You deserve to pick up this novel, for its lessons and its pleasures.” Polly Rosenwaike, Author of Look How Happy I’m Making You
“Epstein weaves a nonlinear tale that seeks to reconcile race, religion, personal identity, truth, mother-daughter relationships and more, and which proves (as most human experience) in some ways satisfying and in others, impossible. The conflict in Tazia and Gemma makes a fascinating read.” L. E. Kimball, Author of Seasonal Roads
About Tazia and Gemma
Spanning 1911 to 1961, Tazia and Gemma is told from the perspective of an unwed mother, whose tale moves forward in time, and her daughter, whose search for her father moves backward. Tazia, a pregnant seventeen-year-old Italian immigrant and survivor of the Triangle Waist Company fire, flees New York, leaving her married lover to think she miscarried the baby he urged her to abort. To support herself and her daughter Gemma, Tazia takes low-wage jobs as she migrates westward. Gemma, now fifty, embarks on an eastward journey to find her father, eventually tracing her roots to Italy. In the end, Tazia no longer needs to escape her history, while Gemma finds that her identity leads back to her mother. The narrative illuminates the tension between assimilation versus honoring one’s heritage, and confronts the struggle for self-respect in the face of discrimination and demeaning work conditions—issues both timely and timeless.