This is such a Rivington Street readalike that it’s hard not to compare the two. Both begin in Russia around the turn of the 20th century and move to the Lower East Side after a pogrom. Both are about young Jewish female union workers and both have lesbian characters, and both depict the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.
“You sound like a capitalist, all excited about machinery,” I said. “Aren’t you afraid that [linotype] will put printers out of work?”
“I was, but now I understand that the more books and pamphlets there are, the more men will read.” He dropped his voice. “And with this machine, we can make up our own pamphlets when the boss is out and melt the evidence before he comes back.” He leaned back in the sunlight, very pleased with himself.
The Williamsburg Bridge was its own sin. Its construction, Lena told me, made hundreds of people homeless when their buildings were torn down. A little like pogrom of progress, burning anything in its path, making Jews take to the roads with everything they owned on their backs, or move in with their relatives and landslayt, crowding more than we were ever crowded in Kishinev.