On the Landing: Stories by Yenta Mash

On the Landing: Stories by Yenta Mash

On the Landing: Stories by Yenta Mash

On the Landing: Stories by Yenta Mash


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In these sixteen stories, available in English for the first time, prize-winning author Yenta Mash traces an arc across continents, across upheavals and regime changes, and across the phases of a woman's life. Mash's protagonists are often in transit, poised "on the landing" on their way to or from somewhere else. In imaginative, poignant, and relentlessly honest prose, translated from the Yiddish by Ellen Cassedy, Mash documents the lost world of Jewish Bessarabia, the texture of daily life behind the Iron Curtain in Soviet Moldova, and the challenges of assimilation in Israel. On the Landing opens by inviting us to join a woman making her way through her ruined hometown, recalling the colorful customs of yesteryear—and the night when everything changed. We then travel into the Soviet gulag, accompanying women prisoners into the fearsome forests of Siberia. In postwar Soviet Moldova, we see how the Jewish community rebuilds itself. On the move once more, we join refugees struggling to find their place in Israel. Finally, a late-life romance brings a blossoming of joy. Drawing on a lifetime of repeated uprooting, Mash offers an intimate perch from which to explore little-known corners of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. A master chronicler of exile, she makes a major contribution to the literature of immigration and resilience, adding her voice to those of Jhumpa Lahiri, W. G. Sebald, André Aciman, and Viet Thanh Nguyen. Mash's literary oeuvre is a brave achievement, and her work is urgently relevant today as displaced people seek refuge across the globe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780875807935
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 09/28/2018
Series: NIU Series in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Edition description: 1
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Yenta Mash (1922–2013) was born and raised in Bessarabia in southeastern Europe. She survived Siberian exile, then settled in Chisinau, Moldova, before immigrating to Israel. Her prize-winning fiction draws on her life, spanning continents, regime changes, and historical eras. Ellen Cassedy is the author of We Are Here and co-translator of Oedipus in Brooklyn and Other Stories. She was a 2015 Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellow and this volume is a result of her fellowship.

Table of Contents

The Bridegroom Tree 3

Resting Place 15

Bread 25

Alone 33

The Payback 45

A Seder In The Taiga 55

On The Landing 61

Mona Bubbe 69

By The Light Of The Moon 77

The Irony Of Fate 81

At The Western Wall 93

The Cap 99

Ingathering Of Exiles 107

Retirees 117

Erika 157

The Second Time Around 163

About Yenta Mash Jessica Kirzane Ellen Cassedy 173

Translator's Note Ellen Cassedy 185

What People are Saying About This

Amos Lassen

I urge you to have a look at these stories. They will change the way you see life.

Ruta Sepetys

A moving collection of stories by an inspiring survivor who brings humanity to underrepresented history.

Irena Klepfisz

Yenta Mash has left us rich images and complex responses to human betrayal and God's indifference in stories that are compelling and memorable.

C.M. Mayo

A transcendent achievement, a landmark book.

Sebastian Schulman

Ellen Cassedy's translation of short stories by Yenta Mash gives voice to a near-forgotten writer and sheds light on a part of the Jewish people whose story and culture has been almost erased from the historical record.

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