Rachel Rubinstein

The Labor Zionist Farband Dine: Yiddish modernist Jacob Glatstein is second from the left.

Is Yiddish Literature the Next Big Thing?

The Yiddish-American novel has always been vexed by its double-foreignness: It is “Other” not just by virtue of its language, but also by virtue of its subject, which, with very few exceptions, tends to be the Old World rather than the new. Such texts, of course, trouble and challenge our definitions of what constitutes “American” literature in the first place. “America” within the Yiddish novel of the United States is fundamentally problematic — not least because it’s hardly present.