Ordinary Lives: Memoirs of American Woman

 Kate Simon

Bronx Primitive

Background

  • 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.

 Career 

  • 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

Autobiography
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



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