Bociany (Library of Modern Jewish Literature)

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9780815605768: Bociany (Library of Modern Jewish Literature)

Rosenfarb follows the destinies of characters from several walks of life in the shtetl. Her primary characters are the scribe's widow Hindele, her son Yacov, the chalk vendor Yossele Abedale, and his daughter Binele. Jewish relations with neighboring Catholics are generally civil, if complicated. Despite living next door to a convent, Hindele finds the nuns' behavior implacably alien.
Her characters and portrait of the preurban, pre-Holocaust world ring true. Yet even in isolated Bociany, new ideas - socialism, Zionism, Polish nationalism, secularism - began to challenge the shtetl's traditional agrarian and mercantile economy.

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From Library Journal:

In these two volumes, Rosenfarb--a survivor of the Lodz ghetto and winner of the Manger Prize for Yiddish literature--lovingly re-creates a forgotten world, the Polish shtetl or village of pre-World War II, with its Jewish and Gentile inhabitants, its poverty and longings, its travails and spirituality. In Bociany, which means "stork" in Polish (storks built their nests on the rooftops of the village), Hindele Polin, the scribe's wife, is a larger-than-life good soul trying to keep her family on the side of the living. She cannot, however, conquer consumption, to which her husband and eldest son succumb. Surprisingly, the book is not a sad one, discussing God, suffering, and how to be a mentsh (an honorable person) with grace and charm. Hindele; her son, Yacov; the chalk vender Yossele Abedale; and his daughter, Binele, are all shown to have a place in the village. But even in this isolated agrarian and mercantile setting, Zionism, socialism, Polish nationalism, and secularism are being made known. In Of Lodz and Love, the shtetl mentality gives way to that of the big city. Yacov and Binele make their way separately to the industrial city of Lodz during the first years of Polish independence. There, the would-be lovers learn firsthand about the upheavals that would herald a new Jewish national and political awakening. These two volumes present a superb panorama of Jewish transition from village life to the new challenges of the 20th century. Highly recommended.
-Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, MD
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Bociany ($29.95; Oct.; 432 pp.; 0-8156-0576-5) Polish-born novelist Rosenfarb's impressive urban epic was first published in the 1970s in three separate volumes later collectively entitled The Tree of Life. That trilogy, which won a major Yiddish literary prize, is now available in two volumes (see below) in the author's own vibrant English translation. The first half tells a vivid story of life in a shtetl in the title village during the years immediately preceding WWII: specifically, its a dramatization of the ethnic and religious traditions that form the characters of its winning protagonists, gentle Yacov and his beloved Binele. But the trilogy's great character is Binele's resourceful mother Hindele Polin, a crafty widow whose hard-earned wisdom and plucky survival skills make her a worthy successor to the villager heroines of Sholom Aleichem's fiction. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. Sholem Aleichem romanticized shtetl life. Isaac Bashevis Singer eroticized it. In the novel Bociany and its sequel, Of Lodz and Love, Chava Rosenfarb brings a vanished world to vibrant, co.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 430 pages. 0.726. Bookseller Inventory # 9780815605768

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Book Description Syracuse University Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Rosenfarb brings a vanished world to life, following the destinies of characters from the Polish town of Bociany as they grow up, grow old, and leave the shtetl for the city. In the LIBRARY OF MODERN JEWISH LITERATURE series. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780815605768

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