Translated by Jessica Kirzane
When the young narrator of Miriam Karpilove’s A Provincial Newspaper leaves New York to work for a new Yiddish newspaper in Massachusetts, she expects to be treated with respect as a professional writer. Instead, she finds herself underpaid and overworked. In this slapstick novella, Karpilove’s narrator lampoons the gaggle of blundering publishers and editors who put her through the ringer and spit her back out again. Along with A Provincial Newspaper, this captivating collection includes nineteen stories originally published in Forverts in the 1930s, during Karpilove’s time as a staff writer at that newspaper. In the stories, we find a large cast of characters—an older woman navigating widowhood, a writer rebuffed by dismissive audiences, American-born Jewish girls unable to communicate with Yiddish-speaking immigrants, and a painter so overcome with jealousy about his muse’s potential lover that he misses his opportunity with her—each portrayed with both sympathy and irony, in ways unexpected and delightful. Also included are Karpilove’s recollections of her arrival in Palestine in 1926, chronicled with the same buoyant cynicism and witty repartee that is beloved by readers of her fiction.
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