Sonia Pressman Fuentes

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Excerpts from Eat First -- You Don't Know What They'll Give You

  • Jewish Geography -- this story was first published in October 1998 in Der Bay, the newsletter of the International Association of Yiddish Clubs.  Here, both the English version and a version in transliterated Yiddish are available in pdf format.
  • Return to Germany -- the story of Sonia’s return to Germany in 1978 to speak about the women’s rights revolution in the US for the then-US Information Agency (USIA), published on the website of The Jewish Writing Project on Jan. 19, 2009. That story is also contained in the anthology, Marking Humanity, Stories Poems, & Essays by Holocaust Survivors, edited by Shlomit Kriger (Aug. 23, 2010, pp. 226-234).
  • If You Speak His Language --This piece was published in Tzum Punkt (Nov.-Dec. 1999, Vol. 1, No. 2)  p. 5, the newsletter of Yiddish of Greater Washington.
  • Thai Silk -- This piece was first published in the Common Law Lawyer and then on the websites of,, and (September 2001).
  • Florida and Beyond -- This excerpt appeared on May 25, 2001, in the Story Lady e-newsletter and on its website, the Jewish Frontier, the Jewish Internet magazine, the Jewish Magazine online, the e-zine, Home-Based Working Moms, and the Writer Online. Terry Boothman, the editor of the Writer Online, had this to say about it in the January 14, 2003, issue that carried the story:

    Everyone's life is interesting, right? Sure. So, everyone should write a memoir, right? Yeah, why not.. And everyone should publish a memoir, right? Good Lord, no. Because not everyone knows how to write a publishable memoir, which means a memoir that lots of other people will enjoy reading. Sonia Pressman Fuentes, one of the founders of the National Organization for Women, published just such a memoir--"Eat First--You Don't Know What They'll Give You, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter." Now, in How I Got My Mink Stole, excerpted from that memoir, you can get a glimpse of exactly how good memoirs are written.

  • Weinberg's Glasses - the story of what happened when Sonia's father found a pair of eyeglasses.
  • Sex Maniac -- the story of the Second Wave of the women's movement and Fuentes' role in it.  
  • Harry Golden and "the Coat" -- Sonia Fuentes sues Harry Golden, published in Jewish Currents, June 16, 1997. 
  • How I Got My Mink Stole -- a lengthy struggle with an unexpected denouement.
  • Eating Out -- published in the April 11, 2001, issue of Writer's Bloc Online, the e-newsletter of the National Writers Union.
  • Graduating With My Class -- Fuentes' desire to graduate with her high school class has a significant consequence.  Published originally in the Catskill/Hudson Jewish Star 6.2 (June 1996) 17.1 and then on Harry Leichter's website.
  • Mother and the Night School -- published in the December 2001, issue of Kolot, A World of Jewish Voices. 
  • Catskills Stories -- Some of Fuentes' stories about her experiences in the Catskill Mountains of New York State may be found at the Museum of Family History.

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cover Eat First -- You Don't Know What They'll Give You,  The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter by Sonia Pressman Fuentes

Book Ordering Information

In the United States, EAT FIRST can be ordered in paperback and hardback from,, and  The book can be ordered from in the UK and in Canada. EAT FIRST is also available for Kindle which includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet.

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Eat First

Book Review

by Becky Barbour, Columbus, Ohio, writer and book reviewer.

January 2000

"Eat First - You Don't Know What They'll Give You" - by Sonia Pressman Fuentes is the story of a five-year-old immigrant girl who left Germany with her family before the Holocaust due to the insight of her older brother and came to live in America. Sonia tells her story from her childhood through her growing-up and subsequent adult years when she became an attorney and one of the founders of the National Organization for Women (NOW), along with numerous other accomplishments.

Sonia paints a vivid story from the first as she describes how her father runs away from his impending marriage to her mother. Even though he is "persuaded" to go through with the marriage by the townsfolk, the subsequent situations and occurrences after the wedding set the stage to show, without a doubt, Sonia's parents' marriage would stay strong.

Through the foresight of her brother, Hermann, the family successfully escapes Germany to Belgium, then ultimately comes to America.  Sonia relates wonderful remembrances of her growing-up years that expose her unique sense of humor and endear you to her and her family.

Sonia goes on to college, followed by law school and tells the tales of what she finds facing her when she makes her first attempts to enter the work force. Through different encounters, periods of unemployment and positions which just didn't work out, Sonia's determination takes her to positions such as the first woman attorney in the office of the General Counsel at the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), a founder of NOW (National Organization for Women) and a national and international speaker on women's rights.

Along with a colorful and gratifying career, she marries at 42 and becomes a first-time mother 1 1/2 years later. Subsequently divorced, she raises her daughter on her own while continuing to influence the changes in women's status in this country and throughout the world.

Sonia weaves her story in such a manner that you easily become caught up in her life, but not as an observer. Instead, it is like spending a cold, winter afternoon curled up next to a cozy fire, listening in rapt attention to the colorful tales of a dear friend.