Rivington Street

This sprawling historical novel follows the fortunes of four enterprising, courageous Jewish women on New York's Lower East Side. Hannah Levy masterminds her family's escape, despite her radical husband's objections, from czarist Russia after the Kishinev pogroms; elder daughter Sarah becomes a union organizer and a socialist while the younger Ruby rises to the top of the fashion design world; their friend Rachel abandons her ultra-Orthodox background to go to work for the Jewish Daily Forward. Through their lives, loves, and convictions, Meredith Tax draws the reader irresistibly into the explosive events that shaped women's possibilities in the early twentieth century. An absorbing, epic novel, Rivington Street is also suitable for use as a classroom text. "Rivington Street gallops along at a satisfying pace, pulling its numerous characters in and out of scrapes and turmoil. . . . Meredith Tax is a knowledgeable feminist, and her concerns are shown to advantage in her women characters--people who think seriously and passionately about work, politics, friendship and sex."--Jean Zorn, New York Times "Splendid. . . . What Tax gives us--really for the first time--is the whole story of the community of Jewish East European women immigrants. . . . A completely imagined book."--Madelon Bedell, Ms. "Tax's zesty tale of a Russian immigrant family in the early 1900s has the appeal of commercial romance but is also well researched and skillfully written. Sweeping the reader along with rich characterizations and a plot humming with dramatic momentum, Tax vivifies social history as well."--Publishers Weekly

Reviews and Press

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Robert B. Wells, “Sense of history prods her fiction,” Milwaukee Journal, Aug. 15, 1982


Phyllis Kriegel, “Meredith Tax; a search for roots,” New Directions for Women, Sept./Oct. 1982


Madelon Bedell, Ms. Magazine, Oct. 1982

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Robert A. Frauenglas, “Rivington Street,” St. Louis Jewish Light, Nov. 10, 1982

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Jennie Tarabulus, “Women in labour,” Jerusalem Post, Jan. 21, 1983

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Cara Metz, “Our History Comes Alive,” Justice [ILGWU], Feb. 3, 1986

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Meredith Tax reading from Rivington Street, “Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution,” Jewish Women’s Archive, 2005


Joshua Brown, “The Great American (Marxist) Novel,” Radical History Review 31, Dec. 1, 1984

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