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Zalman Vendrof (1877-1971) was a journalist and a writer of short stories. He was born in Belorussia, moved to Poland, then England, and finally to America. He returned to Russia in 1918, settling in Moscow. He wrote in Yiddish and while in Poland lost jobs for publishing in that outlawed language. In 1950, in Russia, he was imprisoned, along with other Yiddish writers. His stories used humor to show the struggle of the underdog and injustice in the world, including -- and especially -- antisemitism. Only a fraction of his work remains, and none in English -- that is not until now.
When It Comes to Living is a selection of Zalman Vendrof s short stories, translated into English by Irene Jerison, Vendrof s grand-niece. She rescued Vendrof s stories from oblivion and recorded them here in this collection. As she says in her introduction, The book gives non-readers in Yiddish access to a chunk of Yiddish culture. And, last and foremost, it is fun to read.
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