Literary Lunch at the Cayuga Museum

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Date(s) - 04/26/2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Cayuga Mueum of History and Art


Join us for a book talk with author Karen Foresti Hempson and learn about eight true-life portrayals of the struggles of Italian immigrants or children of immigrants, all beginning their American lives as summer bean pickers.

In “Bean Pickers, American Immigrant Portraits,” each person finds his/her way out of poverty through such avenues as baseball, bootlegging, or the military. Compelling personal stories of the early twentieth-century immigration wave, the Great Depression, and World War II are creatively brought to life as each character demonstrates his/her desperation, yet determination to seek a better life. Their experiences may serve as important reminders of the critical roles that immigrants played in building a strong and welcoming nation. Over one hundred authentic photos and documents are interspersed throughout this creative non-fiction book.

About the author:
Karen Foresti Hempson’s “Bean Pickers, American Immigrant Portraits,” earned finalist status in the 2017 international William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition. An excerpt from Bean Pickers also earned an Honorable Mention in the Vinnie Reams Writing Competition. A retired professor of social studies education, Hempson integrated her teaching of history with primary sources such as photos, documents, artwork, oral history, and memoirs. A passion for celebrating diversity and immigration, Karen compiled her immigrant family’s authentic artifacts and personal narratives to compose her first creative nonfiction book. A native of Utica’s suburb, New Hartford, Karen taught for forty years in Cortland, N.Y. and is now retired in Skaneateles, N.Y. She lives with her husband and her nearby family of two married daughters and grandchildren.

Museum members free, not-yet-members $5.