Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Featured Book: Arguing with the Storm: Stories by Yiddish Women Writers

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Featured Book: Arguing with the Storm: Stories by Yiddish Women Writers

Sumach Press, 2007

Arguing with the Storm was released earlier this year by Sumach Press. Visit their website to read an interview with the editor of the collection, Rhea Tregebov, to listen to Tregebov interviewed by Holley Rubinsky for The Writers' Show, and to read reviews of the book.

About the book:
This stunning collection of fourteen translated stories represents an outstanding contribution to the Yiddish renaissance that has been gaining momentum since the 1980s. The title Arguing with the Storm comes from a poem by Yiddish author Rachel Korn in which the speaker's mother argues with a hailstorm that threatens to lay waste her fields. Although the poem was published before the Second World War, the impending storm can be seen as a metaphor prefiguring the Holocaust and the destruction from which so few were successfully hidden. The mother's defiant argument, however, remains a paradigm of courage and resistance. The prayers and tirades, humour and rage, compassion and wisdom expressed in this collection offer readers a window onto the complexities of the lives portrayed.

Editor Rhea Tregebov worked with a group of talented translators and readers to gather this important collection of stories and memoirs for Arguing with the Storm. Selected for their inclusive vision, the stories range across time and geography, from Sarah Hamer-Jacklyn's comic shtetl tale, "No More Rabbi!"; and Frume Halpern's sharp psychological satire in "Good-Bye Honey," to Paula Frankel-Zaltzman's heartrending memoir of caring for her invalid father in the Dvinsk ghetto during the Nazi occupation. Although as many as eight of the contributors have now passed away, they have left behind voices that ring true to the wit, humour, satire and compassion of yiddishkayt (Yiddish culture) as well as its tragedy.

Rhea Tregebov is the author of six collections of poetry; she has also written five children's picture books and edited numerous anthologies of fiction, poetry and essays. She is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.