Cover image for The further adventures of Menachem-Mendl : New York-- Warsaw--Vienna--Yehupetz
The further adventures of Menachem-Mendl : New York-- Warsaw--Vienna--Yehupetz
Sholem Aleichem, 1859-1916.
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Short stories. Selections. English
First edition.
Publication Information:
Syracuse, NY : Syracuse University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
ix, 172 pages ; 24 cm.
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This volume follows the hapless, albeit hilarious, adventures of Menachem-Mendl, a dreamy optimist who travels to New York and across Eastern Europe in search of an elusive fortune at the approach of World War I. His wife and children are left behind in the shtetl of Kasrilevka.

Author Notes

Sholom Aleichem (Hebrew greeting meaning "Peace be unto you!") was born near Pereyaslav, Ukraine, and settled in the United States two years before his death. The most popular and beloved of all Yiddish writers, he wrote with humor and tenderness about the Yiddish-speaking Jews of Eastern Europe and won the title "the Jewish Mark Twain".

One of his creations, Tevye the Dairyman, has become world famous, thanks to the highly successful Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof, which is based on Sholom Aleichem's Tevye stories. Although he also wrote plays and novels, it is for his short stories and his humorous monologues that Sholom Aleichem is best remembered.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Anyone who loves Aleichem's Jewish shtetl idiom--the humor, exaggeration, and humanity of Tevye--will want to dip into this novel and read it aloud. Written in Yiddish in 1913 and only now translated into English, it's a sequel to The Adventures of Menachem-Mendl, which was first translated and published in the U.S. in 1969. Loosely based on Aleichem's experience, the story is told in the form of letters between Menachem-Mendl (who now has a job as a writer on a Warsaw newspaper) and his wife, Sheyne-Sheyndl, left behind with the children in a Kasrilevka village, where she faces crushing poverty and persecution. He's the classic luftmensch, an airy idealist with harebrained schemes for solving the world's problems. Her down-to-earth, hilarious answers are the best part of the book. In fact, many readers may skip most of his dreamy ruminations and focus on her sharp, furious, loving replies, whether she's cursing her village enemies ("May ten boils disgrace her face, the blabbermouth") or quoting the rabbi's wise lesson: "You mustn't eat on an empty stomach." --Hazel Rochman

Library Journal Review

The original Menachem-Mendl, an epistolary novel translated into English in 1969, tells of the adventures of a Jewish everyman, the product of 2000 years of struggle and survival. His schemes, machinations, and hare-brained attempts to overcome the crushing poverty of the time are detailed in letters to his decidedly less optimistic wife, Sheyne-Sheyndl, in Kasrilivka (Aleichem's name for any poor Jewish town in Eastern Europe before World War I). The first volume of his adventures ends when, after much failure, Menachem-Mendl departs for America and a new life. The current epistolary volume, newly translated with great skill, finds Menachem-Mendl in Warsaw after a disastrous stay in America. He has a new job on a Warsaw newspaper, writing of the politics, opinions, and people of the time. His letters to his wife are published in the newspaper, but her sharp-tongued responses (which appear in the book) are not. This delightful romp through the rich Jewish life of Warsaw of the early 20th century also follows the intrigues of a wandering husband. Aleichem, whose characters are household names to generations of readers of Yiddish and world literature, is a consummate storyteller. Highly recommended. Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.