Allison Schachter’s and Jordan Finkin’s Translation of Fradl Shtok’s Yiddish stories about Jewish life in the Ukrainian Provinces is Reviewed in Tablet Magazine
In her review of Fradl Shtok’s From the Jewish Provinces, Rokhl Kafrissen describes how “One of the pleasures of Shtok’s prose is how alive it is with the lush symbolism of a landscape shared by Jews and Ukrainians. This external world of botanical imagery is deployed masterfully by Shtok, who makes native plant life a leitmotif in portraying the inner lives of girls and women. Shtok’s landscapes feel all the more important, now, as the world’s attention is turned to that very same landscape.” These Yiddish modernist stories from 1919, describe a lost Jewish past in Habsburg empire. The women in her stories struggle with disability, sexual violence, and unwanted marriage, striving to imagine themselves as artists or losing themselves in fantasy worlds. Through deft portraits of her characters’ inner worlds Shtok grants us access to unnoticed corners of the Jewish imagination.