David Bergelson (1884–1952), a Jewish novelist, short-story writer, and literary editor, was born in Ukraine and traveled throughout Europe and the United States until Hitler came to power in Germany. He returned to the Soviet Union in 1934, where he was eventually executed under Stalin’s orders. Tonight translator Sasha Senderovich reads from his new English translation (with Harriet Murov) of David Bergelson's 1929 novel Judgment (Northwestern University Press).
“Set at the height of the Russian civil war, the book features an outsize cast of characters, Jewish and non-Jewish, struggling for survival as the Bolsheviks consolidate power. It's a time and place where everything is up for grabs—allegiances, ethnic identities, basic values—and madness reigns...Nearly 90 years after its original publication, this ahead-of-its-time novel by one of the best-known Yiddish writers of his era proves powerfully relevant in its first English translation.” -Kirkus.
Sasha Senderovich is an assistant professor of Russian and Jewish studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. Co-presented with the Stroum Center, University of Washington.