Local author to discuss work highlighting portraits, lives of Italian immigrants

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ROME — Local author Karen Foresti Hempson will discuss her book, “Bean Pickers, American Immigrant Portraits” at Rome Historical Society, 200 Church St., at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20.

Hempson is a New Hartford native and now a retired social studies professor. She has integrated her knowledge of history with her immigrant family’s authentic artifacts and personal narratives to compose her first book, “Bean Pickers, American Immigrant Portraits.” More than 100 authentic photos and documents are interspersed throughout this creative non-fiction book.

In “Bean Pickers, American Immigrant Portraits,” eight true-life portrayals focus on the struggles of Italian immigrants or children of immigrants, all beginning their American lives as summer bean pickers, each finding their way out of poverty.

Hempson will discuss the stories in her book and the 20th century immigrant experience in Central New York. These stories serve as important reminders of the critical roles that immigrants played in building a strong and welcoming nation, the announcement said. 

Hempson said she is excited to discuss local immigrant history and her book with the public. Copies of “Bean Pickers, American Immigrant Portraits” will be available at the Rome Historical Society during the presentation. For more information, call 315-336-5870, like them on Facebook, or visit their website at www.romehistoricalsociety.org.

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