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Vilna My Vilna
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Abraham Karpinowitz (1913-2004) was born in Vilna, Poland (present-day Vilnius, Lithuania), the city that serves as both the backdrop and the central character for his stories. He survived the Holocaust in the Soviet Union and, after two years in an internment camp on the island of Cyprus, moved to Israel, where he lived until his death. In this collection, Karpinowitz portrays, with compassion and intimacy, the dreams and struggles of the poor and disenfranchised Jews of his native city before the Holocaust. His stories provide an affectionate and vivid portrait of poor working women and men, like fishwives, cobblers, and barbers, and people who made their living outside the law, like thieves and prostitutes. This collection also includes two stories that function as intimate memoirs of Karpinowitz's childhood growing up in his father's Vilna Yiddish theatre. Karpinowitz wrote his stories and memoirs in Yiddish, preserving the particular language of Vilna's lower classes. In this graceful translation, Mintz deftly preserves this colorful, often idiomatic Yiddish, capturing Karpinowitz's unique voice and rendering a long-vanished world for English language readers.
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About the Author

Abraham Karpinowitz published nine books in Yiddish. His work has been translated into Hebrew, Polish, Russian, and German.Helen Mintz is an internationally acclaimed solo artist, storyteller, and translator based in Vancouver, British Columbia, USA.

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It is a master storyteller who can make you feel like you've met someone you never knew, visited a city to which you've never been, make you long for a people, place and culture you've never experienced but from a generation, location and language once, twice or thrice removed. Abraham Karpinowitz (1913-2004) is such a writer. And, thanks to local master storyteller and translator Helen Mintz, more of us can now visit Karpinowitz's Vilna - a city full of colorful characters, both real and not, and share in a small part of their lives.--CYNTHIA RAMSAY "Jewish Independent "

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