From the Jewish Provinces: Selected Stories by Fradl Shtok, the first collection dedicated solely to bringing Shtok’s work to the English-speaking world, has been translated by Dr. Jordan Finkin, the Rare Book Librarian at HUC/Cincinnati’s Klau Library, and Dr. Allison Schachter of Vanderbilt University. Dr. Jordan Finkin is a specialist in modern Yiddish literature and has authored several books as well as numerous scholarly essays and articles. He is also the Co-Director of the Hebrew Union College Press and the Director of Naydus Press, a non-profit publisher of Yiddish literature in translation.
Fradl Shtok was one of Yiddish literature’s brilliant chroniclers of the inner lives of everyday people. Whether in the shtetls of her native Galicia or the urban tangle of her adopted New York, she sheds a light on the unglimpsed corners of the Jewish imagination, be they the travails of young women looking for love and desire in a world that spurns them, or the frustrations and failures of men struggling to live up to stifling social expectations. Her deft modernist prose showcases Jewish women’s aesthetic experiences in a way no Yiddish writer had.
Dr. Finkin shares, “Committed as we are to focusing our attention on women’s voices that have been so egregiously neglected in Yiddish literary history, my co-translator, Allison Schachter, and I were drawn magnetically to Fradl Shtok. Hers is one of those original, startling voices that defies easy categorization. These stories, alternately set in her native Galicia and her adopted America, are all in some way about longing, often the longing of women in a world that disdains them. These stories are beguiling in their subtlety and heartbreaking in their poignancy. Rich and nuanced, these little gems repay multiple readings.”
On December 3, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET, Drs. Finkin and Shachter will be in conversation with Madeleine Cohen of the Yiddish Book Center, as part of the Klau Library’s Fall Lecture Series. Please register here.
Published by Northwestern University Press, the book is available here.