Jewish writer, Sholem Rabinovich (1859-1916), who wrote under the pen name of Sholem Aleichem (Hebrew for "peace be upon you").From 1883 on, Sholem Aleichem produced over forty volumes in Yiddish, thereby becoming a central figure in Yiddish literature by 1890. Sholem Aleichem's narratives were notable for the naturalness of his characters' speech and the accuracy of his descriptions of shtetl life. Early critics focused on the cheerfulness of the characters, interpreted as a way of coping with adversity. Later critics saw a tragic side in his writing. He was often referred to as the "Jewish Mark Twain" because of the two authors' similar writing styles and use of pen names. Both authors wrote for both adults and children, and lectured extensively in Europe and the United States.