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Emma Wolf (1865–1932)

Author of Other Things Being Equal

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Emma Wolf was born in San Francisco, the daughter of a wealthy Jewish tobacco merchant who had emigrated to the USA from Alsace. She has been called the "mother of American Jewish fiction." In 1892, Emma Wolf published the first American novel written by a Jew, on a Jewish subject, but aimed at a general audience, Other Things Being Equal. She wrote four other novels and many vivid short stories over 10 year for The Smart Set, an irreverent and glossy magazine described as The New Yorker of its day. She was widely regarded as a literary genius and enjoyed a large readership in the years 1902 to 1911. Although she was disabled as a result of childhood polio, and rarely left her house, Emma Wolf drew on her sisters' experiences in the greater world as working women, mothers, and lovers to create fiction filled with insights into a time of rapid social change. Professor Barbara Cantalupo of Penn State Lehigh Valley, a Wolf scholar, revived Emma Wolf's forgotten short stories and re-published them for the first time in a single volume.
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