On November 10th, Mary Williams of Vermont Public Radio interviewed Fay Webern for VPR’s “Weekly Conversation on The Arts.” 

In this fascinating 6 minute interview, Fay speaks about how a high school typing class led into a long career as a science writer and editor, and reveals one of the powerful motives that led her to write The Button Thief of East 14th Street.  

“I wanted to honor the streets. Keep the memory of them alive,” Fay said, noting that the “wrecking ball” had obliterated many of the streets and tenements of the Lower East Side, including Lavanburg Homes, the utopian housing project where Fay grew up.

“I did not know how to write in the first-person at all,” she said. “I thought that you had to ‘be there.’ But then I learned … that you could take the part of the narrator and the participant and that set me free to write about my mother’s stories, how she earned a living, Lavanburg and what a success it was,” Webern said.



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