Goldie Morgenthaler on her Mother Chava Rosenfarb and her book “In the Land of the Postscript”
Chava Rosenfarb was one of the most important Yiddish novelists and writers of the second half of the twentieth century. She was a survivor of the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz, and Bergen Belsen. She settled in Montreal after the war and speaks in these stories from personal experience at the same time as she allows her imagination to inhabit the minds of characters far different from herself.
As a way of marking 100 years since the birth of the great Yiddish novelist and poet Chava Rosenfarb (1923-2011), the Polish city of Łódź — the city of her birth — has declared 2023 The Year of Chava Rosenfarb.
Rosenfarb was the recipient of numerous international literary prizes for her novels, mostly about the Holocaust, including the Itzik Manger Prize, Israel’s highest award for Yiddish literature, the Canadian Jewish Book Award and the John Glassco Prize for Literary Translation.
Rosenfarb was one of the few Holocaust survivors who transformed their experiences into works of fiction rather than memoirs. Her best known work, Der boym fun lebn (The Tree of Life), is about ten Jews from Łódź, and how they fared in the Nazi-run Łódź ghetto.
Her story cannot be told without her marriage to Henry Morgentaler – Canada’s leading physician advocate in the fight for abortion rights
Goldie Morgentaler translated “In the Land of the Postscript” and is a Canadian Yiddish-to-English literary translator as well as a professor of English literature. She currently holds a professorship at the University of Lethbridge, where she teaches 19th-century British and American literature as well as modern Jewish literature.
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