The writings of David Bergelson-virtually unknown to readers in the United States-are now available in this exciting collection. Composed of two short stories and a novella, this volume brings to life Bergelson’s rich, elegiac prose. Golda Werman’s highly literate translation perfectly captures his elusive literary style.
Bergelson’s writings evoke the declining world of small-town Eastern European Jews. His world captures the dreariness of the uncommitted life. His characters are cast adrift in a society whose traditions are coming unhinged by powerful modernist forces. In her Introduction Werman offers readers an engaging and tragic portrait of Bergelson, who was arrested on orders from Stalin and died in a prison camp in 1952.
David Bergelson was born in the Ukraine in 1884, the youngest child in a Hasidic family. While his earliest writings were in Hebrew and Russian, by 1907 he used Yiddish exclusively. He later became convinced that communism was the main hope for mankind and worked actively for that party the rest of his life.
Golda Werman is the author of Milton and Midrash and translator of several books including The Dybbuk and Other Writings by S. Ansky.