Books And Literature


A Family Like No Other

By Ezra Glinter

Moyshe Kulbak made a conscious decision to live in the Soviet Union. A translation of his masterful Yiddish novel ‘The Zelmenyaners’ should bring his work to a new audience.Read More


New Yiddish Dictionary Explores Intracacies of Language

By Eitan Kensky

Solon Beinfeld and Harry Bochner’s ‘Comprehensive Yiddish-English Dictionary’ is an essential tool, not least because of its extensive exploration of Yiddish idioms.Read More


Land of the Rising Zun

By Ross Perlin

It could be the world’s most implausible opus: the first Yiddish-Japanese dictionary. Its publication crowned decades of work and includes 28,000 entries.Read More


Yid Lit: Jeffery Eugenides Crafts Love Triangle

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘Middlesex’ crafts a college love triangle in his new novel. When he saw ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ he thought it was about Greeks.Read More


Poet Boris Slutsky, the Soviet Rashi

By Mikhail Krutikov

In the poem “Dream,” Boris Slutsky laconically summed up two defining facts of his generation: “Nineteen is the year of birth, age twenty-two in year forty-one.”

Best known in Russia as a poet of the Second World War, Slutsky belonged to the first — and last — generation of writers whose lives were spent completely under Communist rule. Like most members of that generation, the war split his life in two.Read More


Yid Lit: Lev Grossman Writes Fantasy Novels Even a Grown-Up Can Love

By Allison Gaudet Yarrow

Lev Grossman doesn’t object to his best-sellers being dubbed ‘Harry Potter for adults.’ The books are filled with magic and wizardry, but they don’t shy away from grown-up nastiness.Read More


Yiddish Icons, Portrayed in Cartoons

By Josh Lambert

Just because people don’t know a language doesn’t mean they won’t use it in all kinds of crazy ways. Cartoonists use Yiddish icons without understanding them.Read More


Gur Alroey’s Book Reveals Why Jews Left Europe

By Adam Rovner

Jews didn’t flee Europe because of pogroms. They moved to all corners of the world to find economic opportunity, writes Gur Alroey in a new book.Read More


Joachim Neugroschel, Prolific Multilingual Translator, Is Dead at 73

By Itzik Gottesman

The prolific literary translator Joachim Neugroschel died on May 23 in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was 73. Neugroschel translated more than 200 books from Yiddish, French, German, Russia and Italian, including the work of Nobel Prize-winner Elias Canetti. His legal guardian and former partner, Aaron Mack Schloff, confirmed Neugroschel’s death.Read More


Cities of Jewish Success, Crushed

By Allan Nadler

A vast, heartbreaking and, to English readers, inaccessible Yiddish and Hebrew library — of some 1,000 volumes, studded with unique memoirs and rare photographs — known as yizker-bikher, or memorial books, is devoted to eternalizing the legacies of the myriad cities and towns of Jewish Eastern Europe destroyed by the Holocaust. These books were collaboratively produced, mostly in the late 1950s through the early ’70s, by the survivors of those Jewish communities. But with the exception of a half-dozen or so, they are not the product of critical historical scholarship, and only three have been fully translated into English.Read More


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