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Karen Foresti Hempson 
Author, Historian, Educator
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  • Retired college professor of social studies education.
  • Author of Bean Pickers, American Immigrant Portraits.
  • Author of numerous award-winning creative nonfiction and historical fiction essays.
  • Available for book talks and speaking engagements. Contact: or fill out form in this website
Bean Pickers, American Immigrant Portraits
2019, Jacob's Press, Inc.,
   ISBN 13:978-1-7336088-0-0

Hempson’s creative non-fiction Bean Pickers would be an important book in any time in our social, cultural, and political life, but now is the perfect time for this book to appear on the national scene. Hempson’s beautiful narrative of her Italian American family who came as immigrants is the recipe for understanding our new wave of immigrants and the critical importance of looking beyond prejudices to the mighty contributions of those who have come and will continue to come from other shores. 


Nancy Dafoe, Dafoe Writing and Consulting, Author                                                                            

 More on Bean Pickers, American Immigrant Portraits:

Description - Focusing on first and second-generation Italian American immigrants in upstate New York, Hempson recreates their journeys from hamlets in Italy to the hard times of the Great Depression and World War II. Each character begins American life in oppressive bean fields, eventually finding his/her way out of poverty. 

The lives of eight family members are portrayed using Hempson's research and travel. Through oral history and primary sources, Hempson puts a personal face on our nation's historic events by creating true-to-life stories. Authentic photos and documents are dispersed throughout the chapters. Actual words and descriptions were captured by recorded audio tapes and transcribed interviews.

Links to the Press:

Review of Bean Pickers by Utica Observer-Dispatch's Sunday Magazine,  Accent and by New York Almanack

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  Photo Collection from Bean Pickers


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Pignole cobblestone street
Foresti Ruggiero extended family witih J
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Grandma Grandpa Buono, Newport beach, 19
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