Bread Givers, published in 1925 by Anzia Yezierska, is a semi-autobiographical novel that tells the story of Sara Smolinsky, a young Russian-Jewish immigrant from what is now Poland, growing up in the Lower East Side of New York City in the early 20th century. Sara’s father is a religious scholar who refuses to work, leaving his wife and daughters to support the family. Sara’s struggle to break free from her father’s oppressive influence and to achieve independence drives the novel. Explore a plot summary, an in-depth analysis of Sara Smolinsky, and important quotes.


Read a full plot summary of Bread Givers.


See a complete list of the characters in Bread Givers and in-depth analyses of Sara Smolinsky, Reb Smolinsky, Bessie Smolinsky, and Mashah Smolinsky.

Literary Devices

Here's where you'll find analysis of the literary devices in Bread Givers, from the major themes to motifs, symbols, and more.


Find the quotes you need to support your essay, or refresh your memory of the book by reading these key quotes.

Further Study

Go further in your study of Bread Givers with background information on the book and its author.