Author Shares Atypical Story of Typical Girl in Boston; Anita Diamant Is an Accomplished Writer and Journalist. the Author of Five Best-Selling Novels and Six Nonfiction Guides to Contemporary Jewish Life, She Knows How to Create Compelling Stories and Narratives. [Derived Headline]

By Behe, Rege | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 9, 2015 | Go to article overview

Author Shares Atypical Story of Typical Girl in Boston; Anita Diamant Is an Accomplished Writer and Journalist. the Author of Five Best-Selling Novels and Six Nonfiction Guides to Contemporary Jewish Life, She Knows How to Create Compelling Stories and Narratives. [Derived Headline]


Behe, Rege, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Anita Diamant is an accomplished writer and journalist. The author of five best-selling novels and six nonfiction guides to contemporary Jewish life, she knows how to create compelling stories and narratives.

During the writing of her latest novel, "The Boston Girl" (Simon & Schuster), Diamant made what could have been a crucial error to the story tenor: She switched to third person in telling the story of a young girl, Addie Baum, growing up in turn-of-the-20th-century Boston.

Fortunately, she saw how the story changed and reverted to first person.

"You should always trust your instincts when you start," says Diamant, who appears Oct. 12 at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland as a guest of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures' Literary Evenings. "What I think is interesting is I had written it as an oral history, in a way, but toward the end, in a close-to-final draft, decided (Addie) would be telling the story to someone in particular, her granddaughter. That really focused the voice for me. It became warmer and funnier."

"The Boston Girl" is set in 1985, with Addie telling her life story to her granddaughter, Ava. It's an atypical story for a city that's best known for its Irish population. But in the early 1900s, there were many Jewish immigrants, especially in the North End section of Boston.

"It wasn't the Lower East Side of New York in terms of numbers," Diamant says. "But the neighborhood I describe, the North End, was heavily Jewish with Italians and some Irish who hadn't moved out yet. ... Boston's Irish-ness is very front and center, to some extent thanks to Hollywood, but this is a very diverse city."

Enter Addie Baum. At 15, she's precocious, smart and likes to read and write, but her parents have no interest in their daughter's education. …

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Author Shares Atypical Story of Typical Girl in Boston; Anita Diamant Is an Accomplished Writer and Journalist. the Author of Five Best-Selling Novels and Six Nonfiction Guides to Contemporary Jewish Life, She Knows How to Create Compelling Stories and Narratives. [Derived Headline]
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