Upon publication of HER FIRST AMERICAN in 1985, the New York Times Book Review announced,”Lore Segal may have come closer than anyone to writing the Great American Novel.”
She’s Ilka Weissnix, a young Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Europe, newly arrived in the United States. He’s Carter Bayoux, her first American: a middle-aged, hard-drinking black intellectual. Lore Segal’s brilliant novel is the story of their love affair—one of the funniest and saddest in modern fiction.
Originally published in 1964 and hailed by critics including Cynthia Ozick and Elie Wiesel, OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES is Lore Segal’s internationally acclaimed semi-autobiographical first novel, hailed by The New Republic as “an immensely impressive, unclassifiable book.”
Nine months after Hitler takes Austria, a ten-year-old girl leaves Vienna aboard a children’s transport that is to take her and several hundred children to safety in England. For the next seven years she lives in “other people’s houses,” the homes of the wealthy Orthodox Jewish Levines, the working-class Hoopers, and two elderly sisters in their formal Victorian household. An insightful and witty depiction of the ways of life of those who gave her refuge, OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES is a wonderfully memorable novel of the immigrant experience.
Lore Segal was born in Vienna in 1928, and was educated at the University of London. A finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Segal has won a Guggenheim Fellowship, two PEN/O. Henry Awards, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, and a fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in New York City.