"The initiated and the uninitiated . . . both will benefit from the selection and quality here." (New York Times Book Review)
"These stories constitute a lively-and sometimes tragic-history of a vanished civilization." (Chicago Tribune)
This marvelous collection of Yiddish classics, some never before translated into English, offers the full and wonderfully vivid panoply of shtetl life from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. Written by such masters as Sholom Aleichem, Yisroel Aksenfeld, Mendele Moykher-Sforim, Yitzik Leyb Peretz, Rabbi Nakhman, and Der Nister, this unique collection includes not only early religious writings and engaging Hasidic yarns but also colorful stories of latter-day realism, fantasy, and satire. Humor and suffering, faith and rationalist parody, romantic love and sordid cruelty-a panorama of shtetl life unfolds before us, conjuring up all the colors of a vanished world.
Translator of more than 130 books and twice winner of the Goethe House/P.E.N. Translation Prize, Neugroschel offers tales religious, realistic, fantastic, and satirical to paint a portrait of Jewish life in the shtetls of Eastern Europe from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Much of the material is here translated into English for the first time.-- Barbara Hoffert, ``Library Journal``