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Vilna My Vilna
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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.

Reviews

Thanks to this wonderful volume, expertly translated by Helen Mintz, Abraham Karpinowitz will finally get the attention he deserves. His stories are funny, well-crafted and suffused with the special atmosphere of Jewish Vilna. Karpinowitz brings to life the special world of "The Jerusalem of Lithuania," which played such an important role in the history of European Jewry.--Samuel D. Kassow, Northam Professor of History Trinity College Abraham Karpinowitz s "Vilna My Vilna" re-creates fragments of a lost world the Jewish Vilnius that would be decimated by the Nazis. Karpinowitz (1913-2004) left Vilna in 1937, survived World War II in the Soviet Union and moved to Israel afterward. While serving as the manager of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, he wrote numerous elegiac works in Yiddish capturing his native city which was frequently referred to as the "Jerusalem of Lithuania" for its high Jewish culture.Readers who have been introduced to Vilna through the works of the great writer Chaim Grade will be struck by the very different cast of characters in Karpinowitz s stories. This is the world not of the yeshiva and synagogue, but of the street and the marketplace. We meet pickpockets, beggars and fish vendors, all memorialized with dignity in these fine stories.--Howard Freedman is the director of the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco "JWeekly.com "" Abraham Karpinowitz has taken what he terms "an opportunity of a dream" in this momento mori bene mirror of a memoir. In longing and loss, through the mouths of those he wished might speak still, he offers a salutation of the heart.--Joann Green Breuer is artistic associate of the Vineyard Playhouse "The Arts Fuse " Karpinowitz is a master storyteller with a talent for blending fact and fiction, an eye for detail, a finely attuned ear for slang - and an abiding affection for the colorful characters who inhabit the lost world of prewar Vilna. It's all brilliantly rendered in this first-ever translation.--Ellen Cassedy, author of We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust Criminals, dreamers and performers . . . make their way through Karpinowitz's pages in pungent, unforgettable characterizations; and their fates--often tragic, often brutal, and not only because of the Nazi murder machine, though very often because of it--imbue every page with a sentiment that is all the more powerful by it being earned through careful literary technique and scene craft. The read is smooth, except when it should be rough; it preserves local flavor.--Jeremy Dauber, Atran Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture, Columbia University Abraham Karpinowitz's "Vilna My Vilna" re-creates fragments of a lost world -- the Jewish Vilnius that would be decimated by the Nazis. Karpinowitz (1913-2004) left Vilna in 1937, survived World War II in the Soviet Union and moved to Israel afterward. While serving as the manager of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, he wrote numerous elegiac works in Yiddish capturing his native city -- which was frequently referred to as the "Jerusalem of Lithuania" for its high Jewish culture.Readers who have been introduced to Vilna through the works of the great writer Chaim Grade will be struck by the very different cast of characters in Karpinowitz's stories. This is the world not of the yeshiva and synagogue, but of the street and the marketplace. We meet pickpockets, beggars and fish vendors, all memorialized with dignity in these fine stories.--Howard Freedman is the director of the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco "JWeekly.com " Jewish Vilna is forever gone, but this translation of Vilna My Vilna does much to keep its pale memory alive. Helen Mintz renders Karpinowitz's slangy, colloquial Yiddish into a lively and idiomatic English and graces both Karpinowitz's stories, and even Jewish Vilna itself, with a second life.--Eric Maroney "Colorado Review " Karpinowitz writes of people he knew. This collection of his stories, translated from the Yiddish by Helen Mintz, focuses on life in Vilna. The tales were written after the war when Karpinowitz lived in Israel and blend fact and fiction...The stories serve an important purpose...by allowing us to glimpse this lost Jewish time and space.--Rabbi Rachel Esserman "The Reporter Group " Karpinowitz portrays full-bodied Jewish life suggesting that the glory of Jewish Vilna is in the people. Mintz' readable translation of Karpinowitz idiomatic Yiddish indeed shows that life is with the people.--Iggeret "Newsletter of the National Association of Professors of Hebrew " Vilna My Vilna, a remarkable book of Yiddish short stories by Abraham Karpinowitz (1913-2004), has now been translated into English by Helen Mintz. This collection demonstrates that Karpinowitz deserves to be counted among the great Yiddish writers.--Peninnah Schram "Jewish Book Council " Helen Mintz, translator of these stories is a scholar, performer, and accomplished Yiddishist.... (She) has done more than translate these rich sketches of a city in transition during the interwar years. She has edited the contents of Vilna My Vilna from several collections of Karpinowitz's short pieces and arranged them so as to provide a moving chronicle of Jewish life in one of its centers.--Martha Roth "Jewish Currents " Mintz's collection, Vilna My Vilna: Stories of Abraham Karpinowitz, provides an uncanny portrait of prewar Vilna, and it is - as was much of Karpinowitz's writing - a paean to lost Vilna, to its street life, its cast of unusual characters, its cultural ferment and its underworld.--Norman Ravvin "Canadian Jewish News " 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 " Mintz s collection, Vilna My Vilna: Stories of Abraham Karpinowitz, provides an uncanny portrait of prewar Vilna, and it is as was much of Karpinowitz s writing a paean to lost Vilna, to its street life, its cast of unusual characters, its cultural ferment and its underworld.--Norman Ravvin "Canadian Jewish News "" 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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