Books: Maiden Voyage

BRONX PRIMITIVE: PORTRAITS IN A CHILDHOOD by Kate Simon Viking; 179 pages; $13.95

The setting of Bronx Primitive seems strange turf for the Yankee Clipper of the travel book (New York, Places and Pleasures; England's Green and Pleasant Land). In fact, she is at home in every sense. Kate is not short for Katherine but an alteration of Kaila, the name her Polish-Jewish parents gave her when she was born in Warsaw nearly 70 years ago. Simon took her first trip at age four, in steerage, aboard the Susquehanna, bound for New York City. There she grew up in neighborhoods where...

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