Two early works by S.Y. Abramovitsh introduce the reader to Abramovitsh’s alter ego Mendele the Book Peddler. Mendele narrates both The Little Man and Fishke the Lame. In different voices, he also presents a diverse cast of characters including Isaac Abraham as tailor’s apprentice, choirboy, and corrupt businessman. Reb Alter tells of his matchmaking mishap and Fishke relates his travels through the Ukraine with a caravan of beggars. Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye reemerges from new translations of "Hodel" and "Chava" in all of his comic splendor. Notes enable students to follow Tevye’s uneven steps through Bible quotations. Four of Sholem Aleichem’s other eloquent monologists come back to haunt us in scintillating translations. The selections from Peretz include his finest stories about the hasidim, such as "Kabbalists," "Teachings of the Hasidim," and the ironic tale "The Rebbe’s Pipe." A fresh rendering of Peretz’s masterpiece "Between Two Mountains" represents the meeting of an inspirational rebbe and an awe-inspiring rabbi. Following the translations are three biographical essays about these giants of modern Yiddish literature.
Literature-Fiction, Short-Stories, Anthologies,