Bean Pickers: American Immigrant Portraits

By Karen Foresti Hempson

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ISBN: 13:978-1-7336088-0-0
Format: Paperback
Pages: 224
Publishing Information: 2019, Jacobs Press Inc.

Hempson ‘s creative non-fiction, Bean Pickers, would be an important book in any time in our social, cultural, and political life, but now is the perfect time for this book to appear on the national scene. The beautiful narrative of her Italian American family who came as immigrants is the recipe for understanding our new wave of immigrants and the critical importance of looking beyond prejudices to the mighty contributions of those who have come and will continue to come from other shores.

– Nancy Dafoe, author, Dafoe Writing and Consulting


In Bean Pickers, American Immigrant Portraits, eight true-life portrayals focus on the struggles of Italian immigrants or children of immigrants, all beginning their American lives as summer bean pickers, each finding 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.