Praise for Dineh: an Autobiographical Novel

“Maze’s posthumous novel presents the beauty, poverty, and tragedy of Belarus during the First Russian Revolution as seen through the eyes of a young Jewish girl… A tragic, lovely, and important Yiddish novel in translation.”—Kirkus Reviews

Ida Maze’s autobiographical novel Dineh, beautifully translated by Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, is a deeply sensory reading experience. The reader encounters the life of village Jews in tsarist Russia through the eye of a sensitive young girl, attuned to the seasonal and emotional changes in her natural and social landscape. Through Dineh’s perspective, we see the incursion of anti-Jewish policies and new political winds, but also the joys, drudgery, and tragedies of her relatives, neighbors, and acquaintances. It is a bit like reading Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye stories from the viewpoint of the youngest daughter. Looking back on her own youth, Maze imbues her character with both the generosity and self-absorption of a child. Dineh’s enthusiasm for study, for human interaction, and for the wonders of nature make for an engaging and poignant view of  Jewish life in Eastern Europe in an era of change.

—Eliyana Adler, author of In Her Hands: The Education of Jewish Girls in Tsarist Russia

In Dineh Ida Maze re-created the world of her Jewish childhood in a White Russian village, a world at once cruel and exalted, a world that no longer existed by the time she memorialized it in vivid, sensuous Yiddish prose. Maze’s act of retrieval is matched by that of her translator, Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, who brings this world to life again in English with great poetic sensitivity and illuminates Maze’s contributions to Yiddish literature in a fascinating afterword … This novel should take a prominent place in the expanding canon of Yiddish women writers brought out of entirely undeserved obscurity.

—Ross Benjamin, translator of Franz Kafka’s Diaries

This fictionalized autobiography by the important Yiddish writer Ida Maze lovingly describes the world she inhabited in her childhood and early adolescence … This finely written, sensitively translated, and moving book is about loving, leaving, and grieving a world left behind—a complex, beautiful world that is no more.

—Nora Gold, editor of Jewish Fiction .net