Stories by Yiddish Women Writers
by Fred Forman, Sarah Swartz, Margie Wolfe, Irena Klepfisz,
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|Brief Reviews - Fiction
by Eva Tihanyi
FIRM IN THEIR BELIEF THAT "without remembrance there is no continuity," the editors -- Frieda Forman, Ethel Raicus, Sarah Silberstein Swartz, and Margie Wolfe -- of Found Treasures: Stories by Yiddish Women Writers (Second Story, 392 pages, $18.95 paper) set out to compile a selection of writings by "the women who could illuminate the world of our mothers, our grandmothers, our great grandmothers." The result is a collection of stories translated from the Yiddish that offers a look at history as seen through the eyes of 18 Jewish women writers. They write out of their daily lives and the terror that encompassed them in the form of the Holocaust and its aftermath. Their work is fiction as a form of documentary, a record of a particular group's experience that has gone largely unrecognized. As the scholar Irena Klepfisz says in her thought- provoking introduction, "Despite advances in feminist Yiddish scholarship, the woman writer's Yiddish voice has barely been audible in English."
What stands out most in this book is the authors' indomitable will to life, and the power of their words to evoke it. The biographies, bibliography, and glossary are useful complements to the text, and the introduction provides a useful feminist framework. Found Treasures will be a welcome addition to the library of anyone seriously interested in women's studies.