A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty SmithThe beloved American classic about a young girls coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smiths A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness -- in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.
"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" - 60second Book Review
How Betty Smith Came to Write A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, in Her Own Words
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Betty Smith December 15, — January 17, , an American novelist and playwright, is best remembered for her evocative coming-of-age story, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Betty herself had a rough childhood, growing up in the tenements of Brooklyn at the dawn of the s. Her immigrant parents struggled in their impoverished new environment. Her mother, Katie, was tough as nails, yet passed on to Betty who in her youth went by the name of Lizzie a love of storytelling. Her father, about whom little is known other than his alcoholism, died when she was nineteen. Betty borrowed from her own experiences in the details of her novels, from the various jobs she held to her personal life and family ties. Faced with a painful home life, Lizzie was eager to create her own family.
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Betty Smith (December 15, – January 17, ), an American novelist and playwright, is best remembered for her evocative coming-of-age story, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Born Elizabeth Wehner, she shared a birthdate — December 15 — with the heroine of that beloved novel.
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - DVD Trailer
Clipping services were Googles for the mechanical age: paying clients submitted what would now be called search terms, and readers—often young women—would go through periodicals, line by line, looking for mentions of those terms. The ten readers sat at long sloping desks. The newspapers of all the states were divided between them. The papers poured into the Bureau every hour of every day from every city in every state of the Union. The girls marked and boxed items sought and put down their total and their own identifying number on the front page. Francie is put to work memorizing no fewer than two thousand names and headings. It sounds improbable, but she is a bookish girl, and it was an age of memorization.
She is best known for her bestselling novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn , which is considered one of the great American novels of the 20th century. Wehner, a waiter,  and Katherine or Catherine Hummel. When she was four, they were residing at Stagg Street in Brooklyn, and would move several times to various tenements on Montrose Avenue and Hopkins Street  before settling in a tenement at the top floor of Grand Street that served as the basis for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. As a child, Smith developed an early passion for the written word, and at age eight she received an A for a school composition. While some sources report she attended Girls' High School ,  her biographer reports that she was obliged to quit school by her mother to help support the family, as her alcoholic father worked only sporadically. Smith became an active member of a social service center on Jackson street called the School Settlement Association.
After years of struggling to be a successful novelist she had already achieved a measure of success as a playwright , Betty Smith struck literary gold , drawing on her own experience as the child of poor immigrants at the turn of the twentieth century. She has neither the cleverness nor beauty usually conferred to heroines of novels. She possesses a relatable kind of awkwardness, but her quiet courage and perseverance in the face of poverty and other obstacles endear her to the reader. About the tree that inspired the title:. It was an ailanthus, a hardy variety of Chinese sumac renowned for its tenacity. It is a faith.