Ordinary Lives: Memoirs of American Woman

 Kate Simon

Bronx Primitive


  • Born December 5, 1912 in Warsaw, Poland. Immigrated to the U.S. in 1917 and became a naturalized citizen. Given name, Kaila Grobsmith. Died (cancer) February 5, 1990, Manhattan, New York.
  • Married Robert Simon in 1947 (divorced, 1960).
  • B.A. , 1935, Hunter College, City University of New York.


  • Writer of autobiography and distinguished travel guides, including the best seller New York Places and Pleasures: An Uncommon Guidebook.
  • Worked for Book-of-the-Month Club, Publishers Weekly, New Republic, and Nation. Also contributed widely to periodicals including New York Times, Vogue, Harper’s , National Geographic, and Travel and Leisure.
  • The National Book Critics Circle named Bronx Primitive among the most distinguished books of 1982.


Major Writings

Bronx Primitive: Portraits in a Childhood. 1982.
A Wider World: Portraits in an Adolescence. 1986.

Travel Guides
New York Places and Pleasures: An Uncommon Guidebook (1971)
Parallel volumes on Mexico (1984), Paris (1967), London (1968), and Rome (1972).
Italy: the Places In Between. 1984.
England’s Green and Pleasant Land (1974)
Fifth Avenue: A Very Social History (1978)

Critical Sources and Reviews

  • Interview, June 23, 1986, Contemporary Authors, Volume 127.
  • Some reviews of Bronx Primitive:
  • Ms., June 1982
    New York Times, May 23, 1982, May 24, 1982, February 5, 1990
    Publisher’s Weekly, May 14, 1982
    Washington Post, May 11, 1982

Retired Discussion Series

Debbie Sturman, Director
425 South Main Street, P O Box 510
Lusk, WY 82225-0510
Phone: 307-334-3490
© 2018, Niobrara County Library