Widely known throughout the far-flung Yiddish literary world, Blume Lempel won many literary prizes--the Atran award (1985), the I. J. Segal Prize for Yiddish Literature (Montreal) for her book, A Rege fun Emes (A Moment of Truth, 1981) and the Zhitlowsky prize (1989). Her short stories were sought after by editors of Yiddish periodicals and were translated into English in Bridges and Midstream.
Lempel (1907–1999) was one of a small number of writers in the United States who wrote in Yiddish into the 1990s. Though many of her stories opened a window on the Old World and the Holocaust, she did not confine herself to these landscapes or themes. She often wrote about the margins of society, and about subjects considered untouchable, among them abortion, prostitution, women’s erotic imaginings, and even incest. She illuminated the inner lives of a wide variety of characters—mostly women. Her story lines migrate between past and present, Old World and New, dream and reality, modern-day New York and prewar Poland, bedtime story and passionate romance, old age dementia and girlhood dreams.
Based on an award-winning translation by Ellen Cassedy and Ahron Taub this is Blume Lempel's first English collection of her best stories.