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Bel Kaufman was an author and schoolteacher. Born in Berlin in 1911, she spent her childhood in Odessa and emigrated with her family to the Bronx when she was twelve. Her grandfather was the Yiddish humorist Sholem Aleichem. In addition to Up the Down Staircase, she is also the author of the novel Love, Etc. She died in 2014.
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