- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Mandel Vilar Press (November 22, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1942134258
- ISBN-13: 978-1942134251
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,864,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Oedipus in Brooklyn and Other Stories Hardcover – November 22, 2016
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"Blume Lempel's short story collection is a splendid surprise and a significant revivification of a brilliantly robust Yiddish-American writer." ―Cynthia Ozick
"These stories are a remarkable achievement. . . . She [writes] with modernist acuity...With shrewdness, wit, and lyricism, Lempel gives voice to the women, the aging, the ill, and others who, from the margins of modern society, have had trouble making themselves heard." ―Kirkus Reviews
"Stunning . . . a brilliant, talented writer with one foot in the prewar world in Europe and the other in postwar America. . . . Highly recommended for all collections of Jewish literature." ―Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter
"Richly evocative, filled with pleasure and pain, and powerfully human and humane." ―The Forward
"An eclectic, original and inventive collection." ―Lilith magazine
"These are stories that deserve a cherished place in the canon of Jewish literature." ―Foreword Reviews
"These spare, skillful tales are both introspective and illuminating." ―Philip K. Jason in the Washington Independent Review of Books
"Rescuing a fine writer from oblivion." ―Howard Freedman, Jweekly.com
"Strange, muscled, riven with grief, Blume Lempel's short stories are for the ages." ―C.M. Mayo
"An unusual and important voice." ―Amos Lassen
"Blume Lempel conducts a conversation across multiple time zones and spheres . . . a heroic effort to create and sustain a choir of voices in Yiddish, her beloved and endangered language." ―David G. Roskies, author of Yiddishlands: A Memoir
"A wonderfully original and controversial writer. . . . Blume Lempel left a remarkable legacy that this beautifully translated volume finally makes accessible to a wider audience." ―Anita Norich, author of Writing in Tongues: Translating Yiddish in the 20th Century
"The thematic and stylistic scope of Blume Lempel's writing, as demonstrated admirably by Cassedy and Taub's translations, is wide and richly integrated." ―Jeffrey Shandler, author of Adventures in Yiddishland: Post-Vernacular Language and Culture
"This new translation of Blume Lempel's stories reanimates the melody of Yiddish, the mame-loshen. . . . As one of her characters puts it: 'No world language is comparable to Yiddish, to the Yiddish sigh, the Yiddish sense of humor.'" ―Victoria Aarons, author of What Happened to Abraham?
One of Book Riot's 100 Must-Read Books about Women and Religion.
About the Author
Ellen Cassedy: A former columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, a former speechwriter in the Clinton Administration, Ellen is the author of We are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust." Her work has appeared in Hadassah, The Jewish Daily Forward, the Huffington Post, Lilith,and many other fine journals.
Yermiyahu Ahron Taub: Born and raised in Philadelphia and Baltimore, Taub graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Temple University. He received an M.A. in history from Emory University and an M.L.S. from Queens College, CUNY.The author of four books of poetry,he was honored as one of NYC’s best Jewish artists.
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The richness of the English version made me regret of not being able to read the stories in the original Yiddish. There is an infinite variety of feelings and descriptions in every sample of writing, and for a while I ended up trying to imagine which was the Yiddish version for a paragraph or another.
Blume Lempel writes about the Old Country, stories of survival with any price, even for a short time, stories of failure, nostalgia. There are stories that should be written because this is what is left after what happened. Very often, nature, with its beauty and implacable laws and wild life is the complete antithesis to the erratic human life. In the words of one of her characters: 'But what man has done to the man, this I cannot forgive'. The people she is writing about live lives ordered by caprice, struggling to escape the turmoils of the human nature. If for Adorno, 'to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric', for Blume Lempel to write without mentioning the trauma of the Shoah is impossible. Herself torn by the pain of being the only survivor of her family, she is just writing even not sure about her art of writing and the chances of publishing. This quote from the last story of this volume - The Fate of the Yiddish Writer - is her testimony: 'You did not survive simply to eat blintzes with some cream. You survived to bring back those who were annihilated. You must speak in their tongue, point with their fingers'. In the same story there is the reason why she choose Yiddish instead of English: 'My father and my mother, and sisters and brothers, my murdered people seek revenge in Yiddish. No world language is comparable to Yiddish, with its unique sights, its unmatched sense of humor'.
There are not enough stars to give to this book that simply breaks your heart every story at a time, but with a good reason. We should remember and never forget.