Born near Minsk in 1876, Reisen never achieved the international fame won by his literary sponsor, Sholom Aleichem, or his protege, S. Y. Agnon. Even after he moved to New York in 1914 and began publishing his stories in the Jewish Daily Forward , like Isaac Bashevis Singer, his work never gained a wider reputation. Some of his short stories have appeared in translation in anthologies since his death in 1953, but this is the first single-volume collection of his work in English. Like Sholom Aleichem, Agnon, and Singer, Reisen evokes both the Old World of the Jewish shtetl, where poor, simple Jews try to live their lives with mentchlichkeyt (decency), and the New World experienced by the immigrant and the young Jewish intellectual. Although compassionate, the stories emphasize Chekovian poignancy, even tragedy, over the nostalgia and humor favored by many of Reisen's colleagues. Finely crafted and beautifully translated, these memorable tales should bring Reisen the wider audience he has long deserved. Highly recommended.-- Marcia G. Fuchs, Guilford Free Lib., Ct.