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As a writer, Shira Gorshman is most notable for her unflinching examination of women’s lives, and her willingness to dwell on uncomfortable emotions. Her lean storytelling style foregrounds the moral quandaries her characters face. Her writing is plain-spoken, unembellished, even blunt. Her characters are also straightforwardly who they appear to be. In Gorshman’s text, everything is about the situation, the event, the interplay of right and wrong, and the characters’ reactions to them. Gorshman’s stories follow the trajectory of 20th-century Jewish life in Eastern Europe: from the Lithuanian shtetl to the Russian Revolution, through the kibbutz and collective farms, to Central Asia during wartime and back to mid-century Soviet life.
Fiction. Jewish Studies. Women’s Studies.
Shira Gorshman was born in 1906 in Lithuania. In 1931, she married the artist Mendl Gorshman, and they moved to Moscow, where she began to write. Despite Stalinist restrictions on Yiddish writers, Gorshman's work appeared in the journal Sovetish heymland (Soviet Homeland). In 1990 she immigrated to Israel, where she continued to write and publish to great acclaim.