In honor of the 150th anniversary of the birth of famed Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, a new translation has been published of "Blundzhende Shtern," Aleichem’s novel about two lovers in the Yiddish theater. Playwright Tony Kushner has written the introduction.
NPR’s Robert Siegel has a piece about the man behind "Fiddler on the Roof," including an interview with the translator of the new book, Aliza Shevrin. Here’s what Kushner has to say:
When you read Wandering Stars you’ll be shocked if you haven’t seen … before how violent the emotions are, how full of rage the comedy is. You can discern underneath that anger how much suffering there was, how much injustice and difficulty and loss there was in the lives of these people. … Comedy was very much a way of channeling that and surviving the difficulty of living.