Memories and Scenes: Shtetl, Childhood, Writers by Jacob Dinezon
Memories and Scenes: Shtetl, Childhood, Writers is the first English translation of eleven autobiographical short stories by the beloved and successful 19th century Eastern European Yiddish writer, Jacob Dinezon (1852?-1919). Friend and mentor to almost every major Jewish literary figure of his day, including Sholem Abramovitsh (Mendele Moykher Sforim), I. L. Peretz, Sholem Aleichem, S. An-ski, and Abraham Goldfaden, Dinezon played a central role in the development of Yiddish as a modern literary language.
A successful novelist in his own right, Jacob Dinezon, like Charles Dickens, championed the poor, downtrodden, and oppressed, especially children. He used his pen to expose the hypocrisy and injustice in shtetl society, and his stories reveal a deep love and commitment to uplifting and enlightening the common Jewish people.
In this collection of eleven autobiographical short stories, Dinezon recalls his childhood years in the shtetl, the unusual and memorable characters he encountered along the way, and the events that led to his passion for becoming a writer. Contained within these stories is a treasure trove of Yiddish history, culture, and values.
Now, for the first time in English, Yiddish translator Tina Lunson places Jacob Dinezon's stories beside the works of his contemporaries. If, as scholars suggest, Sholem Abramovitsh, I. L. Peretz, and Sholem Aleichem, are the grandfather, father, and grandson of modern Yiddish literature, then surely Jacob Dinezon is the beloved uncle, writing stories filled with Jewish humor, compassion, and love.