Red Shoes for Rachel
Translated from the Yiddish by Barnett Zumoff
With a Foreword by Mikhail Krutikov
Boris Sandler captures the disrupted world of Eastern European Jews who have
miraculously survived and whom fate has scattered among foreign lands.
"Boris Sandler is the best-known name among the few active
Yiddish prose writers and poets of our days. Sandler’s
prose reflects his experience of living in Soviet Moldova,
Moscow, Jerusalem, and New York. The book is excellently
translated by Barnett Zumoff, who is a recognized master
of translations from Yiddish into English. The selection of
the novellas is very good—I believe the book will find a
significant number of readers and will certainly use it in my
classes on Yiddish literature in translation."—Gennady Estraikh, Clinical Professor of Hebrew and Judaic
Studies, New York University, author and co-editor of many books,
including In Harness: Yiddish Writers’ Romance with Communism
Boris Sandler is one of the leading Yiddish fiction writers of the postwar generation and
has received every major contemporary Yiddish literary award for his work. He served as
the editor-in-chief of the Yiddish Forward from 1998 to 2016. Sandler’s work has been
translated into English, Hebrew, Russian, German, and Romanian.
A prolific translator of Yiddish literature, Barnett Zumoff has published twenty-four volumes
of poetry and prose translation. In addition, he is a professor of endocrinology at
the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Book Description »[Close »]
Red Shoes for Rachel, Sandler’s award-winning collection of three novellas, features
tightly wound tales that seamlessly incorporate diverse genres, including
magic realism, satire, and autobiography, and profound psychological profiles
to create touching portrayals of the human experience. Zumoff’s translation of
Sandler’s original Yiddish collection makes the J. I. Segal Award–winning volume
available to English readers for the first time.
In the collection’s eponymous novella, Rachel, a daughter of Holocaust
survivors raised in Brighton Beach, encounters a Moldovan Jewish immigrant
divorcee as she is tending to her disabled, elderly mother along the Coney
Island boardwalk. As the two begin a relationship, the story reveals their past
and the commonalities between two children of Holocaust survivors raised in
very different societies. In the novella Karolina Bugaz, an exhausted Moldovan
Jewish immigrant architect leaves his wife and newly religious son behind to go
on a cruise to a mysterious island, which may just be a direct voyage through
space and time into his past. In the volume’s most acclaimed story, Halfway
Down the Road Back to You, an elderly Moldovan Holocaust survivor in Israel
separated from her children by emigration must confront her past as her failing
mind begins to blur the boundaries between her daily life and the horrors of war
sixty years before. The novella was adapted by the author into an acclaimed play,
which has been staged in the United States, Belgium, and France.
View other series books on Judaic Traditions in Literature, Music, and Art.
6 x 9, 200 pages