Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Yossl Birstein  \ 

A Dark Bird on the Road [from Yiddish: Yossl Birstein & Nissim Aloni]

Yossl Birstein
In "The Coat of a Prince," the first novella in this collection, the coat which Grandfather copied from an English prince, with its absurd buckles and straps, travels from Poland to Australia and back again. Birstein unfolds stories within stories, revealing a fantastic tableau of a European Jewish family – their obsessions, feuds, superstitions and their own special logic. Their doom is approaching and the story cries with the presentation of grief for their world. All four novellas seem to ask how the remnants of European Jewry, its richness, depth and tragedy, are to be preserved in the present.

No one writing in Israel today can match Birstein for comic-grotesque power... For him, the vanished world of Europe can be rescued only by storytelling, memories, associations and imagination... The past becomes the present plot and the story takes place with a foot here and a foot there, in at least three places and three different times. In these bypaths of reality, Birstein dismantles the big questions and solutions of Jewish existence.
Critic Menahem Perry

English translation available (for publishers only)

Birstein A Dark Bird on the Road
Title A Dark Bird on the Road
Author’s Last Name Birstein
Author's First Name Yossl
Genre novella & stories
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1989
No. Pages 158 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Tzipor Keha Ba-Derech
Representation Represented by ITHL


The second edition of the Letters of Israel festival will take place in Paris from September 8 to 18, 2017
After the success of its first edition, the Lettres d'Israël festival is gaining momentum, with an enriched program: meetings, conversations, readings , Theater, major authors and discoveries. Zeruya Shalev, Orly Castel-bloom, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Iris Argaman, and many more will participate. Click here for the full program:
Call for application: Artists in Residence Programme in Austria. Please note the deadline: September 18th, 2017.
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery makes available 50 residencies to visual artists / art photographers / composers / video and media artists / writers / literary translators and arts and cultural educators in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2018. For more details:
Yizhak Mayer: "Meet the Author" Event
Ambassador Yizhak Mayer, author of the moving book “Silent Letter” will hold a “meet the author” event in Netanya. For further info about the event: And for more details about the title click here:
ITHL director on Grossman's win
"Grossman winning is not only his own achievement, but the achievement of the Hebrew literature as a whole", - Nilli Cohen on the first Hebrew author to receive Man Booker International Prize. Click here for the full article in Hebrew.
Chana Bloch dies at 77
Chana Bloch, a revered poet and translator from Hebrew and Yiddish, has sadly passed away earlier this month. Among her many remarkable achievements is the wonderful translation of a collection of poems by Dahlia Ravikovitch​ (W. W. Norton & Company). Chana will be greatly missed.
Yitzchak Mayer's personal website goes live
English edition of Yitzchak Mayer's amazing "Silent Letter" is about to come out with Mosaic Press. Learn more about the author's incredible life story on his brand new website.
Dayan on feminism and writing
Following the release of "Transitions" in English, Yael Dayan talks to Lilith Magazine about her past aspirations and present pursuits. Click here to read the full interview.
Gundar-Goshen's Op-Ed for Time
To mark the US publication of "Waking Lions" Ayelet Gundar-Goshen talks about the refugee crisis, internal walls and people behind them in the op-ed for Time. Click here to read the article.
MHL - New webzine starting soon!