Arguing With The Storm
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RHEA TREGEBOV was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and raised in Winnipeg, where she received her undergraduate education. She did her graduate work in literature at Cornell and Boston Universities, receiving her M.A. from BU in 1978. She is assistant professor of creative writing at the University of British Columbia, where she teaches workshops in poetry and translation.

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Arguing With the Storm

Stories by Yiddish Women Writers
Edited by Rhea Tregebov

Introduction by Kathryn Hellerstein

Recently rediscovered and newly translated, here are humorous, bittersweet, and tragic stories and memoir, spanning the 1890s to the 1970s. With many contributors writing during the Golden Age of Yiddish, the collection evokes the shtetl, abortive revolutions in Tsarist Russia, the Holocaust, and, according to Outlook "the contradictions and emotional pulls between the expectations and mores of Jewish life in Europe and in North America."

"These brave women of a century and more ago left us thinly disguised stories and actual memoir of the cruel times in which they lived. The result is . . . immensely readable."

—Maxine Kumin, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

"Each story shines. Relations with parents, siblings, lovers, the environs, the society, are all explored."

Jewish Book World

"What makes these [stories] so surprising . . . is not their foreignness but the emotional depths that resonate so profoundly . . . each [story] presents a kind of homespun clarity, a sophistication that comes not from cosmopolitanism but from the ability to accept a flawed but vitally alive world . . . these stories are charming and remarkably compelling. . . . The authors were unafraid to shine their lanterns into the dark corners of their own world, and the result is heartrending. This valuable collection is worth reading for its literary merit alone. But with so much of the vast Yiddish culture already lost to us, these stories are also valuable for their sociological insights into Jewish life of a not-so-distant era."

—Melanie Weiss, Lilith magazine

"From the tale of a grandmother who finds work in a munitions factory, to a memoir of the Dvinsk ghetto, to a love-story in a suburban old-age home, these affecting stories offer sometimes searing, sometimes touching glimpses into a swiftly disappearing mental landscape . . . and the lost world from which it comes."

—Jacqueline Osherow, poet

"This collection not only adds to the body of work of writers already in translation . . . but also further expands the Yiddish canon with translation of four artists never before read in English. . . . What they all reflect collectively is women artists' passionate engagement with their Jewish communities and history. The stories and memoir depict revolution, gender and class conflict, acculturation . . . and Holocaust and post-Holocaust experiences."

—Irena Klepfisz, author of A Few Words in the Mother Tongue

“Since the 1980s there has been a concerted worldwide effort to revive the Yiddish language and its vast literary legacy. This Winnipeg inspired anthology is certain to add to that renaissance.”

—Sharon Chisvin, Winnipeg Free Press

Arguing with the Storm is clearly a labour of love, a grassroots literary undertaking with broad literary appeal.”

—Norman Ravvin, The Canadian Jewish News

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