Cover: A Little Love in Big Manhattan: Two Yiddish Poets, from Harvard University PressCover: A Little Love in Big Manhattan in E-DITION

A Little Love in Big Manhattan

Two Yiddish Poets

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674863163

Publication Date: 07/27/1988

279 pages

8 halftones

World

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

In the early decades of this century, the wave of immigration that brought nearly two million Jews from the Pale of Settlement to the United States included an extraordinary group of gifted Yiddish poets and writers, who came to be called Di Yunge (The Young). A Little Love in Big Manhattan tells the story of two of the Young’s most prominent figures—Mani Leib, a lyric poet intent on refining the hard facts of his life into works of enduring beauty, and Moishe Leib Halpern, for whom poetry had to be the expression of coarse and shattering reality.

Through a dual biography of these opposing personalities, Ruth Wisse describes the rich and vital cultural movement that embraced them both. She tells of the burst of creative energy exhibited by the young poets and intellectuals who, after a long day of manual labor, would congregate in the cafes of the Lower East Side for badinage, debate, and literary talk. They started literary journals and compiled anthologies of their writings, which found their way overseas and had a rejuvenating influence on Yiddish poetry abroad. Ironically, their achievement coincided with the decline of the language in which they wrote, so that Yiddish poetry came into its own in America at a time when the next generation could scarcely read it; there were no literary heirs.

Ruth Wisse presents modern Jews with a part of their lost inheritance, and also claims for the Yiddish poets a place in the American canon. The first book to present these poets as part of the history of immigrant Jews in America, A Little Love in Big Manhattan (the title is from a poem of Halpern’s) will appeal to readers of poetry and to people interested in facets of the intellectual and artistic atmosphere of the interwar period.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Book jacket: Vera Rubin: A Life, by Jacqueline Mitton and Simon Mitton, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Jacqueline Mitton, coauthor of Vera Rubin: A Life

While astronomer Vera Rubin made significant contributions to our understanding of dark matter and championed the advancement of women in science, she is not that well known outside of the scientific community. HUP Executive Editor for Science, Janice Audet, spoke with Jacqueline Mitton, coauthor of Vera Rubin: A Life, about Rubin’s remarkable life and work and the writing of the book