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Stempenyu: A Jewish Romance
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THE ART OF THE NOVELLA SERIES

About the Author

SHOLOM ALEICHEM was born Solomon Rabinowitz in 1859, the son of a merchant in the Ukrainian village of Pereyaslav. At 14, he wrote his first book- a dictionary of Yiddish curses overheard at home. Despite jobs teaching Russian and writing for Hebrew newspapers, it was his writings in Yiddish humorous stories about village life that brought him fame. Using the Yiddish greeting ( Peace unto you ) as his pseudonym, he published 40 volumes of stories and plays, single-handedly creating a literature for what had been primarily a spoken language. Pogroms forced Aleichem to flee Russia in 1905, eventually landing him in New York City, his fame undiminished. When Aleichem was introduced to Mark Twain as the Yiddish Mark Twain, Twain interrupted to call himself the American Sholom Aleichem. Upon Aleichem's death in 1916, 100,000 mourneres flooded the streets of Manhattan for his funeral. His will, however, asked friends to remember him by an annual reading of one of his funny stories. Let my name be recalled in laughter, Aleichem wrote, or not at all.

Reviews

"I wanted them all, even those I'd already read." --Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer "Small wonders." --Time Out London "[F]irst-rate...astutely selected and attractively packaged...indisputably great works." --Adam Begley, The New York Observer "I've always been haunted by Bartleby, the proto-slacker. But it's the handsomely minimalist cover of the Melville House edition that gets me here, one of many in the small publisher's fine 'Art of the Novella' series." --The New Yorker "The Art of the Novella series is sort of an anti-Kindle. What these singular, distinctive titles celebrate is book-ness. They're slim enough to be portable but showy enough to be conspicuously consumed--tiny little objects that demand to be loved for the commodities they are." --KQED (NPR San Francisco) "Some like it short, and if you're one of them, Melville House, an independent publisher based in Brooklyn, has a line of books for you... elegant-looking paperback editions ...a good read in a small package." --The Wall Street Journal

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