Fiction. Poetry. Jewish Studies. Translated by Zackary Sholem Berger. Introduction by Heather Valencia. Through Zackary Sholem Berger's translations, SUTZKEVER ESSENTIAL PROSE brings to light for English readers the largely unknown prose of a seminal Yiddish poet. In these works, Avrom Sutzkever blurs the lines between fiction, memoir, and poetry; between real and imagined; between memory and metaphor. He offers haunting scenes drawn from a vast imagination and from the unique life he lived—his youth in Siberia and Vilna, his trauma as a partisan and a survivor, and his post-war life as a Yiddish poet in Israel.
"Every page of this book—marvelously translated by Zackary Sholem Berger—trembles with smoldering vitality, and every page persuades us that the angel of prose confided in Sutzkever as faithfully as the angel of poetry. Readers of this book will not fail to appreciate how Sutzkever's unconquered past—in Siberia, in Vilna during what he calls 'the time of slaughter,' and in Tel Aviv—bears on our present."—Benjamin Balint
"This book is a revelation, even for those who know Sutzkever as one of the great poets of the twentieth century, because it shows Sutzkever, for the first time in English, as a true master of prose. These riveting short stories, in Berger's beautiful translation, cover vast territories from Siberia to Vilna to Israel and beyond, into the worlds of memory, imagination, myth, and legend."—Shachar Pinsker
Review @ Kirkus ReviewsInterview with Lisa Newman @ Yiddish Book CenterBarbara Goldberg @ momentExcerpt @ TabletFeature @ Yiddish Book CenterAviya Kushner @ Foreward
Avrom Sutzkever (1913-2010) spent his childhood in Siberia and emerged as a writer in the burgeoning literary circles of Jewish Vilna. In the Vilna Ghetto, he wrote poetry as a means of survival. As a member of what became known as the Paper Brigade, he helped to save Jewish cultural treasures from Nazi destruction. After the war, he became an influential advocate and activist for Yiddish culture, as well as a symbol of resistance through acts such as his testimony at the Nuremberg trials. He founded the Yiddish literary journal Di goldene keyt (The Golden Chain) and in 1985 received the Israel Prize for Yiddish literature.Author City: TEL AVIV ISR