Tag Archives: the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909

Oh, the Audacity

19 Jan

I’ve spent a lot of time this long weekend doing book committee work. To give myself a break from the “must reads”, I picked up this novel in verse, Audacity by Melanie Crowder.

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It is inspired the real life story of Clara Lemlich who worked to improve the working conditions  in the factories on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. I’ve written recently about my love for novels in verse and this one meets my expectations. This is not a happy story and the verse form helps lighten the darkness of the situation. Clara defies her family and society to do what she knows is right. Not a bad thing to read on MLK day, is it!

And the writing is beautiful. Crowder uses  beautiful imagery and percussive language to create an achingly beautiful novel.

Younger readers can learn about Clara Lemlich’s work in  Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel.

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Thinking about union activities gets me thinking about Billy Bragg, my favorite leftist singer. Here are two of my BB faves.

 

 

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