Publisher Sumach Press (2007)
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 Stormcomes 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.
The project began with the Winnipeg Yiddish Women’s Reading Circle, a group dedicated to rediscovering the lost heritage of women’s writing in Yiddish. Tregebov worked with a group of talented translators and readers from the Reading Circle to gather many of the stories that are the core of this important collection of stories and memoirs. 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.
Editor and co-translator. Introduction by Kathryn Hellerstein
The Feminist Press CUNY, 2008. ISBN: 155861558X
The American edition of Arguing with the Storm includes an informative and insightful introduction by Kathryn Hellerstein, associate professor of Germanic languages and the Undergraduate Director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jewish Book World
Melanie Weiss, Lilith Magazine
Sharon Chisvin, Winnipeg Free Press
Norman Ravvin, The Canadian Jewish News