alt.obituaries Memorial Deadpool
If you know anything about Bel
Kaufman, you know the following two facts. She wrote Up the Down
Staircase, and she was the granddaughter of Sholem
on the Roof, etc.). If you're me, you know a third.
My 103-year-old aunt, Ruth Gruber, also a writer, was her oldest
friend, and I'm
pretty sure Ruth is delighted to have survived her.
Bel Kaufman was born in Berlin, but
grew up in Odessa. The Russian Revolution took care of their secure
society. They fled to the Bronx, where Bel, like so many
children before and since, made the most of what was offered. Hunter College, magna cum laude, in
1934, and a master's
degree in English from Columbia University in 1936. She loved studying
education but had a hard time finding work in the schools because of
Russian accent. She did, eventually, and the rest is history.
I remember being enthralled with Up
the Down Staircase when I read it a few years after it was
in epistolary form, it told the story of life in the NYC public school
had just moved from the suburbs to the city and was part of it myself,
experience has turned out to be one of the most exciting times of my
experience, fictionalized at Calvin Coolidge High School, was
bureaucratic, touching, and hilarious. The film, directed by the
Robert Mulligan, made it even better. She had a very long life, and she
thanks to Margalit Fox, the obituary she deserved. What more can you
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