Ken Frieden (editor), Ted Gorelick (editor), Michael Wex (editor)
Two novellas by S. Y. Abramovitsh open this anthology, the first comprehensive overview of works by the three classic Yiddish authors. They describe Jewish life in Eastern Europe during the nineteenth century and introduce the reader to Abramovitsh’ alter ego, Mendele the Book Peddler, who narrates both The Little Man and Fishke the Lame. Here he presents a diverse cast of characters including Isaac Abraham as tailor’s apprentice, choirboy, and corrupt businessman, and Fishke traveling through the Ukraine with a caravan of beggars. Sholem Aleichem reintroduces us to Tevye the Dairyman’s beloved daughters Hodel and Chava, known to everyone familiar with the musical or film Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye is a gregarious storyteller who describes the pleasures of raising independent-minded daughters. The selections from Peretz include his best stories about life of the hasidim. We catch glimpses of inspirational rebbes and awe-inspiring rabbis. These translations breathe new life into the unforgettable worlds of Yiddish literature.
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