Cynthia Freeman came to writing in middle age, using the romances and adventures of her characters to escape the pain of her own life. Freeman dropped out of school in sixth grade and took courses at the University of California at Berkeley for three years before marrying at eighteen. She worked as an interior decorator for twenty-five years and raised two children before a debilitating illness at age fifty forced her to close her business. She turned to writing and published her first book, A World Full of Strangers, in 1975. The book, a multigenerational tale of a self-hating Jew who hides his origins from his son, was an instant bestseller. She wrote a new novel every year or two, and while critics panned her melodramatic plots and flat characters, readers responded enthusiastically to her stories of Jews torn between the desire to assimilate and the need to maintain continuity with their traditions and their past. Freeman’s personal life was fraught with tragedy, as she cared for her Alzheimer’s-stricken husband and grieved for her daughter’s death in an automobile accident in 1985, but she continued to write, publishing her final novel, The Last Princess, a year before her death.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Cynthia Freeman ." (Viewed on September 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/freeman-cynthia>.