Yiddishlands: A Memoir, Second Ed.

Wayne State Univ. Oct. 2023. 280p. ISBN 9780814350720. pap. $29.95. MEMOIR
This second edition of Roskies’s memoir comes 15 years after the original. Rather than an update on his life, Roskies (emeritus, Yiddish literature and culture, Jewish Theological Seminary of America) has recontextualized the original material and restored its final chapter, a dreamlike magical journey into the past. The tension between reality and fiction, especially in his mother’s life—the center of the first part of the book—becomes more palpable in this version. A family tree and biographical sketches of the people in the text help readers gain an understanding of the author’s family, along with pertinent details about important Yiddish writers. He depicts European Jewish life in the first half of the 20th century as a vibrant world full of art, love affairs, and clashes between various Jewish communities and their languages. Its disappearance and the trauma they experienced become more evident through this memoir. Roskies also explores ways how splintered Jewish communities were rebuilt in North America and Israel.
VERDICT This updated edition makes an already fascinating, important story more accessible for readers of Jewish history and storytelling.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing