Warsaw Stories by Hersh Dovid Nomberg, translated by Daniel Kennedy

A new translation from the Yiddish Book Center's White Goat Press

“Tinged with the deeply hopeless, yet nervously optimistic perspective of pre-WWII Jewish intellectuals, the stories of Hersh Dovid Nomberg evoke the lost world of Jewish luftmentsh autodidacts floating between urban cultures while in the process of creating their own. Daniel Kennedy’s sharp translation shows us a rich Yiddish landscape riddled with young Jews deep in intellectual ferment, culturally unmoored, but with a curiosity for life that swells hearts.”

— Eddy Portnoy

In this new English translation, Hersh Dovid Nomberg’s stories explore modern Jewish life in the growing cosmopolitan city of Warsaw: young intellectuals in pursuit of truth and beauty; working class fathers tempted by schemes for easy money; and teenagers caught between desire and tradition. By turns comic, satiric, and earnest, Nomberg’s stories take the pulse of Warsaw’s Jewish society at the dawn of the twentieth century.

Hersh Dovid Nomberg (1876–1927) was one of the new wave of Yiddish writers in the early 20th century who made a name for himself with his characteristically atmospheric short stories, mostly set in Warsaw, populated by artists, philosophers, and other outcasts.

Newly translated by Daniel Kennedy, a literary translator based in France. He is a two-time Yiddish Book Center Translation Fellow, managing editor for translations at In geveb: a Journal of Yiddish Studies, and co-founder of Farlag Press.

“Hilarious and insightful, a glimpse of a vanished world seen close at hand, with poverty, propriety, romance, and much more. Nomberg was a forgotten genius, forgotten until . . . now! A very fine translation, too!”
—Paul Buhle

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