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Isaac Loeb Peretz

Isaac Loeb Peretz (1852-1915), was born in Zamoscz, Poland, to a respected traditional family. He was privately tutored in Hebrew grammar, German and Russian, but his mother's extreme religious outlook prevented him from receiving a systematic secular education. In 1877 he passed an exam enabling him to practice law, a profession in which he excelled. From 1870 to 1878 Peretz wrote most of his works in Polish. The few poems he composed in Yiddish were not published and many have been lost. In 1875 he started publishing in Hebrew.
In 1886, after several years of literary silence, Peretz resumed writing poems and short stories, and in 1888 he began to publish in Yiddish. At the end of the 1880s, a false accusation resulted in his loosing his law license. Depressed, with no savings and no prospects, he left Zamoscz and moved to Warsaw. There he joined a group making a statistical survey, leading him to visit many small towns and villages, collecting information about the life of the Jewish population. Back in Warsaw, the unemployed Peretz plunged into various social and cultural activities, lecturing in Hebrew and publishing Yiddish short stories. In 1891 he secured a permanent position in the department in charge of burial sites for the Jewish community of Warsaw, where he continued to work until his death.
In the 1870s Peretz considered both Yiddish and Hebrew a temporary means for educating the masses until they could learn the language of their native country. After the 1881 pogroms, however, his writing promoted nationalism, and since he had always been concerned with the fate of the underprivileged, his attitude toward Yiddish became more positive. He also wanted people to know Hebrew as well as the language of their birth country. While Peretz wrote in Yiddish, he also continued his literary efforts in Hebrew. In 1901 his collected works, in both Yiddish and Hebrew, appeared for the first time. His house in Warsaw became home to a group of Yiddish writers whom he always encouraged. During World War I he took care of refugees and their children. After a lifetime of defending and supporting the underpriveleged, his funeral turned into a mass demonstration.

Books Published in Hebrew
The Mute, Warsaw, Ben Avigdor, 1892 [Ha-Ilemet]
The Harp (poetry), Warsaw, S.B.Shwartzberg, 1894 [Ha-Ugav]
The Arrow (non-fiction), 1894 [Ha-Hetz]
The Ruin of the Zaddik's House (play), 1903 [Hurban Beyt Ha-Tzadik]
Sketches and Notes, Odessa, Moria, 1910 [Tziyurim Ve-Reshimot]
The Trial Against the Wind, Odessa, Sifri, 1917 [Ha-Mishpat Im Ha-Ruah]
Collected Work, Berlin, Dvir, 1920 [Col Kitvei I. L. Peretz]
Selected Work, Warsaw, Tushia, 1922 [Ktavim Nivharim]
My Memoirs, Dvir, 1928 [Mi-Sipurei Ha-Am]

Books in Translation
Selected Stories
Yiddish: London, Alliance Press, 1945
Italian: Milan, Scuola Sup…Fond, 1954
Polish: Wroclaw, Zaklad Narod, 1958
German: Munich, Winkler, 1961; Frankfurt, Fischer, 1964; Berlin, Volk und Welt, 1969; Stuttgart, Weitbrecht, 1984
Portuguese: Sao Paulo, Perspectiva, 1966
English: New York, Schocken, 1974; New York, Macmillan, 1975
French: Paris, Albin Michel, 1977; Paris, Stock, 1980 ; Paris, Mercure de France, 2011
Romanian: Bucharest, Univers, 1974
Dutch: Amsterdam, Vasallucci, 1998


Isaac Loeb Peretz

Books Published in Hebrew

Books in Translation

Congratulations to Zeruya Shalev and Shifra Horn for receiving the 2017 Adei Wizo Prize.

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award! The books on the longlist are selected by 400 libraries worldwide. Titles are nominated on the basis of ‘high literary merit’ as determined by the nominating library.
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!