by Ilana Stanger-Ross

Damaged By Immigration

Being Russian, Jewish and female in America now.

Ellen Litman’s literary debut, The Last Chicken in America (Norton, $23.95) consists of twelve linked stories set in a Russian-Jewish immigrant enclave in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Litman’s writing is sharp, often funny and always poignant, especially as she captures the alienation of the immigrant experience: teenagers turned into caregivers for their own parents; engineers and biologists remade into house cleaners and welfare recipients; the great escape of America transformed into the deadening provinciality of Squirrel Hill’s Russian community.

Continue reading this article…

Already a subscriber? Log in above to keep reading. Or subscribe now for immediate access to the complete digital and print editions, plus exclusive online access to Lilith's back issues.