“Unterzakhn” Graphic Novel Portrays Lower East Side, Circa 1910
We love graphic novels, and were especially thrilled to learn of a recent release that focuses on the early twentieth century Lower East Side. Time to re-tool our reading list!
Unterzakhn is the latest long-form comic book from author-illustrator Leela Corman, whose previous publishing credits include Queens Day and Subway Series. The story, titled in Yiddish meaning “Underthings,” plots the chronicle of immigrant twin sisters Esther and Fanya in 1910. Knopf/Doubleday press materials peg the narrative as a coming-of-age tale on the Lower East Side “where life’s lessons are learned quickly and often cruelly.” For instance, Esther works for burlesque theater and whorehouse operator, Fanya for an obstetrician who performs illegal abortions.
As part of the PR campaign, the official website also published some awesome Yiddish flashcards. We’ve borrowed a couple for your enjoyment: