Recovering Yiddishland

Recovering Yiddishland : Threshold Moments in American Literature

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According to traditional narratives of immigrant assimilation, Jews freely surrendered Yiddish language and culture in their desire for an American identity. In ""Recovering ""Yiddishland"""", Bachman offers a challenge to this conventional literary history, returning readers to a threshold where Americanization also meant ambivalence and resistance. She reconstructs ""Yiddishland"" as a cultural space produced by Yiddish immigrant writers from the 1890s through the 1930s, largely within the sphere of New York City. The book spotlights significant works by Yiddish immigrant writers that reveal unexpected and illuminating critiques of Americanization. The author takes a fresh look at Abraham Cahan's Yekl and Anzia Yezierska's Hungry Hearts. Bachman discusses the modernist poet Mikhl Likht, whose simultaneous embrace of American literature and resistance to English assimilation marked him as the supreme ""threshold"" poet. Combining sophisticated academic analysis of literary works with her own personal encounters with Yiddish writing, Bachman offers a provocative and highly readable contribution to Jewish literary history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 326 pages
  • 162 x 236 x 27mm | 630.49g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0815631510
  • 9780815631514
  • 2,542,783

Review quote

Bachman weaves colorful threads of personal, often poetic, reflection into her scholarly analysis. As she shares her close readings, we see her creating and inhabiting a 'Yiddishland' of her own. The literary figures she studies become her restlesss soulmates as she comes to understand that even in its heyday, "'Yiddishland' was always 'a place neither home nor exile.' So it is for Bachman herself-and for all of us who seek to connect ourselves to that once-vibrant world.--Shofar
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About Merle Bachman

Merle L. Bachman is assistant professor of English at Spalding University. Her articles and poetry have been published in such journals as Talisman and Jewish Book World.
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