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Yiddish Literature 1864–1939

The most important writer of old Yiddish literature was Elijah Levita (a.k.a. Elye Bokher, 1469–1549), who adapted the Italian version of the chivalric romance Bevis of Hampton into…

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Molodowsky, Kadya (1894–1975)

Known as ‘the first lady of Yiddish literature,’ Kadya Molodowsky published continuously between 1927 and 1974. Molodowsky earned renown as a prolific poet, prose writer,…

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Peretz, Yitskhok Leybush (1835–1917)

Yitskhok Leybush Peretz, or I. L. Peretz (1835–1917), was a Yiddish and Hebrew writer, known for introducing modernist trends into Yiddish literature. Born in the…

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Glatstein, Jacob (1896–1971)

Jacob Glatstein, or Yankev Glatshteyn, was a Polish-born Jewish American poet, novelist, and literary critic who primarily wrote in Yiddish. Glatstein was born in Lublin,…

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Di Yunge

Di yunge is a group of American Symbolist Yiddish writers and critics that achieved prominence during the first two decades of the twentieth century and…

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Howe, Irving (1920–1993)

Irving Howe was an American literary and social critic. Howe was a central figure in the circles of American democratic socialism as well as a…

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Heifetz-Tussman, Malka (1893–1987)

Malka Heifetz-Tussman was a twentieth-century American Yiddish poet. She was born in 1896 in the region of Volyn in Ukraine (then part of the Russian…

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An-sky, S. (1863–1920)

Born Shloyme-Zanvl Rappoport near Vitebsk, Belarus, S. An-sky was a Jewish Russian intellectual, political and social activist, journalist, Yiddish ethnographer, poet, writer, and dramatist, whose…

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Margolin, Anna (1887–1952)

Anna Margolin is a Yiddish poet of the first half of the twentieth century, and though she produced only a single volume of poetry, Margolin…

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Dropkin, Celia (1887–1956)

Celia Dropkin, one of the greatest yet lesser-known Yiddish poets, revolutionized modern Yiddish poetry with her pioneering exploration of gender dynamics. Bold erotic motifs in…

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Goldberg, Leah (1911–1970)

Leah Goldberg (1911–70) was a prolific modernist poet, novelist, playwright, translator, and literary critic. Born in Königsberg, Germany, Goldberg grew up in the Russian-speaking milieu…

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Berlewi, Henryk (1894–1967)

The Polish painter, graphic designer and art critic Henryk Berlewi was one of the outstanding figures of Polish Constructivism and the Yiddish Avant-Garde. As a…

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Kulbak, Moyshe (1896–1937)

Moyshe Kulbak was a leading Yiddish modernist poet, novelist, and playwright. Born in Smorgon near Vilna, he received a traditional religious education. His youthful works…

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Vogel, Debora (1900–1942)

Debora Vogel (1900–42) was a Polish-Jewish writer, poet, art critic, essayist, philosopher, and translator. She is a key – yet unrecognised – figure in the…

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The Introspectivists

The Introspectivists (Inzikhistn), the first group of modernist Yiddish poets in America, were part of the Jewish American Renaissance and flourished in the years following…

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Bergelson, Dovid (1884–1952)

Dovid Bergelson was a major Yiddish prose writer and essayist. He had a lasting impact on Yiddish fiction writing, introducing new narrative techniques such as…

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Di Khalyastre (1922–1924)

Di Khalyastre (also Di Khaliastra, ‘The Gang’ in Yiddish) was a major Yiddish avant-garde movement and literary magazine active in Warsaw between 1922 and 1924.…

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Sutzkever, Avrom (1913–2010)

Avrom Sutzkever was one of the greatest Yiddish poets of the twentieth century. A true virtuoso of words, he revolutionised and enriched the language of…