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Wandering Stars Summary and Reviews

Wandering Stars

by Sholem Aleichem, translated by Aliza Shevrin

Wandering Stars by Sholem Aleichem, translated by Aliza Shevrin X
Wandering Stars by Sholem Aleichem, translated by Aliza Shevrin
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  • Published Feb 2009
    496 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

The first complete translation of an epic love story by the creator of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof

Next year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great Yiddish humorist Sholem Aleichem as well as the 100th anniversary of the publication of Wandering Stars, his sprawling love story spanning ten years and two continents, and set in the colorful world of the Yiddish theater.

In a Russian shtetl at the end of the nineteenth century, Reisel, daughter of a poor cantor, and Leibel, son of a rich man, fall under the spell of a traveling Yiddish acting company. Together they run off to join the theater but quickly become separated. Reisel goes on to become Rosa Spivak, concert star, and Leibel becomes Leo Rafalesko, theatrical sensation. Kept apart by their own successes and by the managers who exploit their talent, they tour the world until their wanderings bring them both to New York. An engrossing romance, a great New York story, and an anthem for the theater, Wandering Stars is a long-lost literary classic, rediscovered here in a vibrant new translation.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. As Leibel says to Reizel while they gaze at the sky above their village, stars don't fall but wander, as do these stalwart theater people. Highly recommended." - Library Journal.

"Wandering Stars largely overlooks the hardship and tragedy in the czarist oppression of the Jewish minority. Ignoring politics, it deals with an entirely different aspect of Jewish life: the fascination of European and American Jews with their own theater at the start of the 1900s. It tells of failed love, corrupted by fame and intrigue in the entertainment world." - Associated Press.

This information about Wandering Stars was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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More Information

Sholem Aleichem is the pen name of Sholem Rabinovitch (1859–1916), the most beloved writer in Yiddish literature. Born in Russia, he fled the pogroms and immigrated to New York in 1905. His funeral procession was witnessed by 100,000 mourners.

Aliza Shevrin is the foremost translator of Sholem Aleichem, having translated eight other volumes of his fiction.

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