Page 76 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 38

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
two o f Harry Kemelman’s rabbinical thrillers. T h e re are at least
two score works o f original poetry and abou t a dozen novels
published by recen t imm igrants, bu t the acknowledged literary
masters o f the em igration live mostly in Europe and the United
States. T he Israeli imm igrants are more likely to be a major
read ing audience fo r Russian litera tu re than producers them ­
selves o f tha t literature .
Biographies o f historical value have been translated from H e­
brew, so that the Russian reader can learn about the lives and
careers o f the late Yigal Allon, Prime Minister Begin, Golda Meir,
and others. Some fascinating memoirs o f life in the Soviet Union
have been published, especially by those who survived the labor
camps and persecu tion as Zionists o r religious Jews. Izrail
Kleiner’s
Anekdoticheskaia tragediia
(A Funny T ragedy , Te l Aviv:
Krug, 1978) is an in teresting account o f life in the Ukraine which
sheds much light on Ukrainian-Jewish relations; Victor Perel-
man’s two volumes o f memoirs are by a fo rm e r staff w riter o f an
im po r tan t Soviet new spaper who is p resen tly the ed i to r o f
perhaps the finest Russian jou rna l published in Israel,
Vremiia i my
(Time and We). Such works are appea r ing with increasing f re ­
quency in No rth America and Western Europe, bu t fo r those
interested in Soviet life, and Soviet Jewish life in particular, they
seem never to lose the ir fascination. It should be understood , tha t
because o f political constraints on inform ation and publication in
the USSR, such works are often as revealing to Soviet and ex-
Soviet citizens, especially o f the younger generation , as they are to
Westerners.
Pride o f place in book publication probably goes to the “Sifriat
Aliyah,” a series o f paperback volumes published u n d e r the au ­
spices o f the Cen tre for Research and Documentation o f East-
European Jewry at the Hebrew University and funded by the
Memorial Foundation for Jewish Cu lture and the Society fo r
Research on Jewish Communities. T hu s far, nearly 80 titles have
appeared in attractive paperback editions. Initially, the selection
o f titles appeared haphazard , bu t in recen t years a well balanced
selection o f titles in Jewish history and litera tu re has been offered .
Among the au tho rs rep resen ted are Aryeh Eliav, Saul Tscher-
nikhovsky, Howard Fast, Aharon Megged, S.Y. Agnon, Isaac
Bashevis Singer, Ju d a h Halevi, H enry Roth, Zevjabotinsky — the
list shows the range and diversity included in the series. T h e titles
are o f strictly Jewish interest and most o f them are likely to appeal