A new collection of short stories from the bestselling author of Up the Down Staircase La Tigresse and Other Short Stories collects Bel Kaufman's short stories together for the first time-and introduces eight stories never before published. In the title piece, first published in Esquire in 1948, an aging femme fatale finds herself finally understanding what it means to truly love someone when she meets-and has a short affair with-a plain, balding Frenchman who affectionately calls her "la tigresse." In her story "From a Teacher's Wastebasket,"Kaufman reveals the origins of her bestselling novel Up the Down Staircase. In "Varya," we enjoy the story of a free-spirited, determinedly optimistic Russian immigrant who wins over anyone who crosses her path. In her deft, perceptive stories, Kaufman embraces the importance of joy and of living life to the fullest. Bel Kaufman (b. 1911) is a bestselling author, dedicated teacher, and lecturer best known for her novel Up the Down Staircase (1965), a classic portrayal of life in the New York public-school system. Kaufman was born in Berlin, the daughter of Russian parents and the granddaughter of celebrated Yiddish writer Sholom Aleichem.
Her family moved to Odessa when she was three, and when she was ten her family moved to Moscow, before finally immigrating to New York City two years later. There, she graduated magna cum laude from Hunter College and with high honors from Columbia University. Kaufman worked as a high-school teacher in the city for three decades. Her success with Up the Down Staircase launched her second career as a sought-after speaker for events around the country. Her other works include the fascinating novel Love, Etc. (1979), a powerful, hauntingly poignant story, written in letters on three different levels, in which she changes reality into fiction. Kaufman lives and works in New York.