Translated by Mindy Liberman
Jacob Dinezon's novella Falik and His House, originally published in Yiddish in 1904 and translated into English for the first time by Mindy Liberman, tells the story of an elderly tailor who has fallen on hard times. His house, which he talks to like a brother, was once young and sturdy. Now in old age, it leans precariously, and the roof is leaking so badly it threatens to drown Falik, his wife, and their belligerent tenants.
To make matters worse, the richest man in town has purchased the property next door and is building a grand mansion that is blocking Falik’s light. His greedy new neighbor has now turned his eye on Falik’s house and has offered a significant sum to take it off his hands.
When Falik writes to his sons in America for financial help, they refuse and encourage him to take the rich man’s offer and come live with them in their new home.
What will Falik do? Sell and sail away to America or stay and save his beloved house by binding himself to the town’s ruthless loan shark?
Jacob Dinezon’s Falik and His House offers a masterful tale of one man’s stubborn determination to preserve his Jewish way of life in the Russian Empire at the turn of the twentieth century. A poignant, humorous, and life-affirming story of loyalty, love, and faith.
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