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Excerpts from Eat First -- You Don't Know What They'll Give You

  • Jewish Geography -- this story was first published in October 1998 in Der Bay, the newsletter of the International Association of Yiddish Clubs.  Here, both the English version and a version in transliterated Yiddish are available in pdf format.
  • Return to Germany -- the story of Sonia’s return to Germany in 1978 to speak about the women’s rights revolution in the US for the then-US Information Agency (USIA), published on the website of The Jewish Writing Project on Jan. 19, 2009. That story is also contained in the anthology, Marking Humanity, Stories Poems, & Essays by Holocaust Survivors, edited by Shlomit Kriger (Aug. 23, 2010, pp. 226-234).
  • If You Speak His Language --This piece was published in Tzum Punkt (Nov.-Dec. 1999, Vol. 1, No. 2)  p. 5, the newsletter of Yiddish of Greater Washington.
  • Thai Silk -- This piece was first published in the Common Law Lawyer and then on the websites of whispersmagazine.com, iagora.com, and BankgokAtoZ.com (September 2001).
  • Florida and Beyond -- This excerpt appeared on May 25, 2001, in the Story Lady e-newsletter and on its website, the Jewish Frontier, the Jewish Internet magazine, the Jewish Magazine online, the e-zine, Home-Based Working Moms, and the Writer Online. Terry Boothman, the editor of the Writer Online, had this to say about it in the January 14, 2003, issue that carried the story:

    Everyone's life is interesting, right? Sure. So, everyone should write a memoir, right? Yeah, why not.. And everyone should publish a memoir, right? Good Lord, no. Because not everyone knows how to write a publishable memoir, which means a memoir that lots of other people will enjoy reading. Sonia Pressman Fuentes, one of the founders of the National Organization for Women, published just such a memoir--"Eat First--You Don't Know What They'll Give You, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter." Now, in How I Got My Mink Stole, excerpted from that memoir, you can get a glimpse of exactly how good memoirs are written.

  • Weinberg's Glasses - the story of what happened when Sonia's father found a pair of eyeglasses.
  • Sex Maniac -- the story of the Second Wave of the women's movement and Fuentes' role in it.  
  • Harry Golden and "the Coat" -- Sonia Fuentes sues Harry Golden, published in Jewish Currents, June 16, 1997. 
  • How I Got My Mink Stole -- a lengthy struggle with an unexpected denouement.
  • Eating Out -- published in the April 11, 2001, issue of Writer's Bloc Online, the e-newsletter of the National Writers Union.
  • Graduating With My Class -- Fuentes' desire to graduate with her high school class has a significant consequence.  Published originally in the Catskill/Hudson Jewish Star 6.2 (June 1996) 17.1 and then on Harry Leichter's website.
  • Mother and the Night School -- published in the December 2001, issue of Kolot, A World of Jewish Voices. 
  • Catskills Stories -- Some of Fuentes' stories about her experiences in the Catskill Mountains of New York State may be found at the Museum of Family History.

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cover Eat First -- You Don't Know What They'll Give You,  The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter by Sonia Pressman Fuentes

Book Ordering Information

In the United States, EAT FIRST can be ordered in paperback and hardback from amazon.com, bn.com, and xlibris.com.  The book can be ordered from amazon.co.uk in the UK and amazon.ca in Canada. EAT FIRST is also available for Kindle which includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet.

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Eat First

Sonia Pressman Fuentes

Xlibris Book Publishing Author Spotlight

"It's my way of looking at life… My life wasn't funny. I just tell it that way."

SoniaSonia Pressman Fuentes is a woman’s woman. At the tender age of five, she, her parents and her brother left Berlin, Germany to escape Nazi persecution. Spending a few months in Belgium, they arrived in the US on May 1, 1934.

Sonia’s immigrant childhood significantly influenced her to embrace the cause of defending the rights of society’s disenfranchised, particularly of women.

She holds the distinction of being the first woman attorney in the General Counsel's Office” at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as well as being a co-founder of the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States, the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Preceded by the establishment of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the publication of the American Women, the creation of the Citizens’ Advisory Council on the Status of Women and the passage of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII, NOW’s formation ushered in the second wave of women’s liberation.

The movement sent ripples of change around the United States and the world that are still being felt today.

“I knew that my roles as the first woman lawyer in the General Counsel’s office at the EEOC in 1965 and as one of the founders of the National Organization for Women (NOW) a year later were historic. I’d known that for years. For that reason, I had kept a diary during my first six months at the EEOC. I saved many documents involving my EEOC and NOW activities, speeches I had given on women’s rights, and articles I had published.”

Since her 1993 retirement, Sonia has pursued an active career as a feminist activist, writer, and public speaker. She talks about women's rights issues in speaking circles and serves in the Veteran Feminists of America’s advisory committee.

She has contributed to the blog feministing.com about the founding of NOW and has recently been quoted in Time magazine’s special e-book "Love, Sex, Freedom and the Paradox of the Pill, A Brief History of Birth Control." Sonia’s interview for the series “The Wisdom of Elders Across America” may be seen on icarevillage.com.

Eat First—You Don’t Know What They’ll Give You, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter shares Sonia’s life story through a series of personal and professional vignettes that are altogether enlightening and funny.

From how her parents got rambunctiously married to how she was unjustly labeled a “sex maniac,” by the General Counsel at the EEOC, Sonia demonstrates her natural flair for telling stories punctuated with intelligent humor.

In chapters like “Law School” and “Florida and Beyond”, Sonia sheds light on her compulsion to study law despite the fact that “[y]oung women in the ’50s did not become attorneys.” Her witty account thinly veils a scathing commentary of the social and political sensibilities of the time.

Eat First—You Don’t Know What They’ll Give You, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter is available through Amazon.com, B&N.com and the Xlibris bookstore.

June 3, 2010