“Yekl” (1896), the first novel upon which the much acclaimed film “Hester Street” was based, was probably the first novel in English that had a New York East Side immigrant as its hero. Reviewing it, William Dean Howells hailed Cahan as “a new star of realism.”
Seth Lipsky is the founding editor of the Forward, the English-language successor to the Jewish Daily Forward. He edited the newspaper for ten years and is now a contributing editor of "The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Brooklyn.