Author, Yiddish Translator
In the Land of Happy Tears
Yiddish Tales for Modern Times
Sunday, September 23, 2-3pm
This engaging collection offers access to modern works–translated for the first time into English–for anyone who appreciates a well-told story rich with timeless wisdom. A year-round book for families. Includes a comprehensive introduction on Yiddish culture.
Montclair's Debra Caplan, translated one of the stories and will share it - and this delightful collection - with our youngsters.
These eighteen stories for a changing world, never before translated into English, by writers from Eastern European countries including Russia and Poland, focus on excellent storytelling, strong characters, and creative ideas. The stories express solid principles and open-minded attitudes, and a sense of both familiarity and adventure in the face of difficult times.
As the old Eastern European Yiddish-speaking world began to clash with modernity, Yiddish authors created new stories to capture the imaginations of children growing up in times of social and historical upheaval. These stories have largely been overlooked or forgotten, until now. These hidden treasures from the early- and mid-20th-century rich Yiddish literary tradition each provide a satisfying read, while the entire collection runs the gamut of storytelling modes used to bridge new and old worlds. Authors include some of the most respected Yiddish writers of their time, who were known in their homelands and then in America, such as Moyshe Nadir, Jacob Reisfeder, Sonya Kantor, and many others. The ethos binding the stories focuses on messages that continue to ring true today while reinvigorating the idea of values largely usurped from contemporary society.
Debra Caplan is an Assistant Professor of Theatre of Baruch College specializing in world theater, Yiddish theater and drama, theatrical travel and Jewish performance culture.