With his intense, quickfire psychological fiction and consistent portrayal of characters’ subconscious minds, Jonah Rosenfeld is a standout among Yiddish authors of the early twentieth century. In his dedication to observing human psychology, he frequently confronted issues rarely dealt with by his contemporaries.
In A Plague of Cholera and Other Stories, Rosenfeld confronts the issues of his day, whether they be epidemics, differing social expectations for men and women, financial instability, or challenges to Jewish life at the beginning of the twentieth century. His themes are as relevant today as when the stories were first published. This new translation from the original Yiddish is culled from anthologies spanning Rosenfeld’s career, starting in 1924 and running through 1959 and contextualized alongside Rosenfeld’s biography and other writings. These short stories are presented in a fresh, approachable way, welcoming to students as well as seasoned readers of Yiddish texts and translations.
By narrating the lives of impoverished and working-class Jews in Europe and urban North America, A Plague of Cholera and Other Stories shines a light on the secular, uniquely Yiddish challenges of its day while offering a comprehensive, informed perspective by one of the most prominent writers of the language.
Jonah Rosenfeld (1881–1944) was born in Chartorysk, Russia, and immigrated to New York in 1921. He is the author of twenty volumes of short stories, three novels, and a dozen plays.
Rachel Mines, who obtained her PhD in English from King's College, University of London, is faculty emerita at Langara College. She is the translator of The Rivals and Other Stories by Jonah Rosenfeld, also published by Syracuse University Press.
6 x 9, 272 pages