Award-winning author Sharon Gloger Friedman was born and raised in South Florida and now happily resides in Georgia with her husband. A former teacher, copy editor and freelance writer, her articles and essays have appeared in The Boston Globe, Woman’s World Magazine, Yahoo News and Examiner.com. Her first novel, Ashes is the 2019 winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Historical Fiction.
On a Personal Note…
To understand why I wrote Ashes, you need to know a little bit more about me and my family.
My maternal grandparents came to America from Austria by way of New York City in 1912, and like the thousands who passed through Ellis Island each day, they began their new lives in the crowded tenements of the Lower East Side. One of my grandmother’s sisters was already living in New York, and it was only a matter of time before her mother and four other sisters made the voyage across the Atlantic to join them. My grandparents, great aunts and their husbands all found employment in the garment industry at one time or another, working as seamstresses, furriers, hat makers and machine operators.
By the time I was born, my grandparents and four of my grandmother’s sisters and their families had resettled in South Florida. Growing up in the midst of my loving grandparents, great aunts and great uncles, I heard firsthand their tales of working long hours for low wages in unsafe factories, of the tyranny of supervisors, and of the indifference of the factory owners.
Although the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire happened before my relatives came to this country and the Raisky’s story is different from my family’s, Ashes is meant to pay tribute to my grandparents, great aunts and great uncles, and all those who toiled in the sweatshops of New York City hoping for a better life in America.