cover of book

by I. J. Schwartz
translated by Gertrude W. Dubrovsky
University of Alabama Press, 1990
Paper: 978-0-8173-5143-4 | Cloth: 978-0-8173-0493-5
Library of Congress Classification PJ5129.S298K413 1990
Dewey Decimal Classification 839.0913


An epic poem about life in America in the early 20th century, as perceived by a Jewish immigrant.

Kentucky is the first major work in Yiddish literature to present America as its primary theme. The long epic poem paints a rich picture of life in Kentucky just after the Civil War. Written between 1918 and 1922 by Lithuanian-born writer, I. J. Schwartz, it first appeared in the Yiddish journal Zukunft and later, in 1925, was published as a book. Although unknown to English readers until this translation, the book was a primary text for immigrants and potential immigrants in places as remote as Poland and Argentina who received their first impressions of America from its pages. Parts of it were even set to music and sung in choruses around the world.

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