THE EXILE BOOK OF YIDDISH WOMEN WRITERS. 306 pages.
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This important book, which includes various texts never before translated into English, and most of which originally appeared in books, journals and newspapers, is the first to emphasize the work of so many Canadian-Yiddish women writers, like Chava Rosenfarb, Rachel Korn and Ida Maze.

The short stories, excerpts from novels and memoirs, and several personal essays, were written at points in these women’s lives when they were looking out to and at the world around them. They were facing a traditional world confronting modernity: family life during a tumultuous period when parental authority was challenged by political and social movements; sexual awakening during a profound revolutionary period in Europe; longings for independence, education, and creative, artistic expression; the conflicted entry of Yiddish-speaking women into the modern world, beyond the restrictions of traditional Jewish life; the Holocaust and its aftermath, and adjustment after immigration.

To date, the major anthologies of Yiddish prose in translation have concentrated on popular male writers and excluded not only fiction by women but their memoirs and other prose writing as well. By their exclusion from these anthologies, Yiddish women writers were denied their place in history, and important voices were never heard. Yiddish women writers provide the vital link to understanding Jewish experience in Europe, North America, Israel and other parts of the world. This anthology represents a transformation of Yiddish literature and with it a fresh understanding of Ashkenazi and Sefardi life.

"These are vibrant women, and their writings should not be read only as something from the past, but something important to our days, despite the passing years. For all of us who lost family members in those times, and want their story told and read this book is an excellent collection of important writers who tell those stories, stories that should never be forgotten." —David Homel, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Translation, and most recently the 2012 J.I. Segal Award for Translation.


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