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Eat First -- You Don't Know What They'll Give You Paperback – November 24, 1999
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EAT FIRST--YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'LL GIVE YOU, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter, by Sonia Pressman Fuentes is the story of an extraordinary woman at an extraordinary time in our country's history. It is the story of a five-year-old immigrant girl who came to this country with her family to escape the Holocaust and grew up to become a founder of the Second Wave of the women's movement.
Ms. Fuentes is a natural storyteller and through her tales and anecdotes we come to know her parents, her brother, and Sonia, herself. The tale begins with her father's running away from his own wedding in a small Polish town, only to be rounded up by incensed village folk determined that a wedding would take place. It moves on to Sonia's birth and the family's flight from the Nazi reign of terror in 1930s Germany, first to Belgium and then to the United States. We come to know her family through the wry humor and warm understanding of the author and feel we know them as we would our own next-door neighbors. Our heroine does, indeed, survive being a stranger in a strange land, grows up, goes to college and then law school and becomes one of the founding mothers of the National Organization for Women and a champion of women's rights in the primary government agency charged with enforcing those rights. Along the way, she gets married, has a child, gets divorced, raises her daughter as a single mother, and is one of the forces for change in women's status that sweep this country in the 1960s and '70s. Her unique family and perspective shine in these memoirs and the reader feels a kinship with her and her family's struggles, their love, and their determination because it speaks to us all of our own. -- Becky Barbour, Writer and Book Reviewer, Columbus, Ohio --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Sonia Pressman Fuentes, firstname.lastname@example.org, is a writer, public speaker, feminist, and lawyer. She was the first woman attorney in the General Counsel's Office at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW). In 1996, she received the Veteran Feminists of America Medal of Honor.
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at the meeting in which we discussed Eat First. She is an amazing woman and her life has had many twists and turns.
However, those twists and turns have made her a powerful advocate for women. She had seen many changes in her life
in attitudes toward women and she continues to affect change. I hope many women will read her book!
However the warmth of her family certainly come through. I would like to read other pieces from this interesting author.
Beginning with an account of her father running away from marriage, EAT FIRST follows her parents' marriage through the difficult decision to leave their home and business in Germany as the events leading to the Holocaust began to unfold. Eventually coming to the United States, Fuentes describes herself as a "bespectacled, asthmatic child of older, immigrant parents in a new country." Humor became a coping device - a gift she has honed to a fine edge, providing the novel a light, entertaining tone that carries throughout the pages. Wonderful vignettes such as how her father earned a B+ for saving her sewing disaster and her mother's love of night school, but sacrificing that love for her family, result in a strong, compelling narrative.
Following her high school graduation, Fuentes earns a scholarship to Cornell, despite her father's opinion that too much education can be a bad thing. As her family pressured for marriage and children, Fuentes found her way to law school instead. Graduation with a law degree did not lead to a number of folks offering work, however, and the next few years provided the impetus for Fuentes' involvement in women's issues. At the age of forty-two she finally fulfilled her family's dreams for her to be married, soon having a child as well. A later divorce in no way seems to have negated her family's approval to finally have her married, and her determination to have a child will keep readers entertained.
Author Sonia Pressman Fuentes presents her memoirs in EAT FIRST--YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'LL GIVE YOU, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter. With an intense awareness of her place in history, in terms of family relations, career, and self-realization, Fuentes reveals her immigrant background, her involvement in Women's Rights, and her love for family. A woman who blazes her own unorthodox path, this remarkably self-honest memoir is a must read for all. Her extraordinary gift for an enthralling narrative and lively personality brings the text a life and vibrancy that will live in the reader's memory long after the last page is turned. EAT FIRST belongs on everyone's keeper shelf.