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Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 2004 - Fiction - 316 pages

The lost world of early 20th century Jewish life in Eastern Europe-of lively shtetls and ghetto streets-is known by many through the books of I. B. and I. J. Singer. But few know the Singers had a sister who was also a gifted writer and who saw this same world through a woman's eyes. Originally published in Yiddish in 1936, Esther Kreitman's vivid and poignant autobiographical novel follows the life of Deborah, a rabbi's daughter, from the ages of 14 to 18. Because she is a girl, Deborah is condemned to household chores, barred from the books she yearns for and destined for an arranged marriage. I. B. Singer has said that his sister Esther and her thwarted hunger for learning and experience inspired his story "Yentl."

Wrtten with grace and passion, "Deborah" is a rare gem by a writer undervalued in her own time and too long forgotten in ours.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BeyondEdenRock - LibraryThing

When I picked this book up I knew nothing of the title or the author; I took it on trust, to add to my collection, because it was a green Virago Modern Classic. “All the world has heard of the great ... Read full review

Deborah (The Feminist Press at the City University of New York Series)

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Kreitman, sister of notable Yiddish scribes I.B. Singer and I.J. Singer, was also an established writer but was not well known. Originally published in Yiddish in 1936, her autobiographical novel ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

The older sister of I. B. and I. J. Singer, Esther Kreitman was a notable Yiddish author in her own right. "What distinguished her fiction . . . is her portrayal of the woman's, particularly the free thinking woman's, point of view. . . . [Her] works record a young woman's passionate struggle for identity and autonomy" (Joshua A. Fogel, The Yale Review). Among her translations is a Yiddish version of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

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