The Pequod Review:
There is something rich and profound — and deeply American — about Lore Segal’s third novel, Her First American. The book is the story of Ilka Weissnix, a 21-year-old Jewish refugee from Nazi-controlled Vienna, who flees to America where she meets Carter Bayoux, a sixty-ish African-American journalist and intellectual. The couple begins a love affair, one that introduces Ilka not just to Carter but to all of 1950s American culture — jazz, literature, politics, New York City, racism and alcoholism. The story is told with grace (Segal’s writing is deceptively intelligent, simple but always choosing the right word) and with unexpectedly complex characters. Highly recommended.