FEATURED EBOOK

When Everyday Jews was first published in Poland in 1935, the Jewish Left was scandalized by the sex scenes, and I. B. Singer complained that the novel was too bleak to be psychologically credible. Yet within two years, Perle’s novel was heralded as a modern Yiddish masterpiece. Offering a unique blend of raw sexuality and romantic love, thwarted desire and spiritual longing, Everyday Jews is now considered Perle’s consummate achievement. The voice of Mendl, the novel’s twelve-year-old narrator, is precisely captured by this artfully simple translation. Mendl’s impoverished and dysfunctional family struggles to survive in a nameless Polish provincial town. In this unsettled world, most ordinary people yearn to be somewhere else—or someone else. As Mendl journeys to adulthood, Perle captures the complex interplay of Christians and Jews, weekdays and Sabbaths, town and country, dream and reality, against a relentless and never-ending battle of the sexes.

FEATURED AUTHOR

Sholem Aleichem

Sholem Aleichem

Sholem Aleichem, pseudonym of Solomon Rabinovitsh (1859–1916), was one of the preeminent classical writers of modern Yiddish literature. His literary pseudonym was derived from the Hebrew expression “shalom aleichem,” meaning “peace be with you.” He arrived in New York in 1906 (after barely escaping a pogrom the previous year) as the world’s most famous Yiddish writer. Attesting to his popularity in the New World, Aleichem’s funeral was among the largest New York had ever seen.

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  • book: The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son

Yale University Press & New Yiddish Library Authors

EBooks by Yale University Press & New Yiddish Library

ABOUT Yale University Press & New Yiddish Library

  • By publishing serious works that contribute to a global understanding of human affairs, Yale University Press aids in the discovery and dissemination of light and truth, lux et veritas, which is a central purpose of Yale University. The publications of the Press are books and other materials that further scholarly investigation, advance interdisciplinary inquiry, stimulate public debate, educate both within and outside the classroom, and enhance cultural life.

    Selected by leading scholars and published by Yale University Press, The New Yiddish Library features both classic and undiscovered titles, with an emphasis on previously untranslated material. The New Yiddish Library is a joint project of the Fund for the Translation of Jewish Literature and the Yiddish Book Center.