I am Assistant Professor of Russian Studies and Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. I received my Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard and taught at Tufts, Lafayette College, and Rutgers University before landing in Boulder. I am now working on my first book, Seekers of Happiness: Mobility, Culture, and the Creation of the Soviet Jew.
- "A Clan on the Move: A Zelmenyaner Family Tree" (essay on teaching Kulbak's novel The Zelmenyaners), In geveb, Oct 14, 2015.
- "In Memoriam: Svetlana Boym" Tablet Magazine, 8/7/15.
- Check out a video recording of my conversation with writer Gary Shteyngart at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia in May 2015.
- My essay on David Bezmozgis's new novel The Betrayers (The New Republic, September 19, 2014)
- My long review essay on several new novels by Soviet-born emigre Jewish writers, "Russian Jewish American Lit Goes Boom!" (Tablet, June 17, 2014)
- My review of Gary Shteyngart's memoir, Little Failure (Tablet, Jan. 6, 2014)
This is the first complete English-language translation of a classic of Yiddish literature, one of the great comic novels of the twentieth century. Moyshe Kulbak's The Zelmenyaners describes the travails of a Jewish family in Minsk that is torn asunder by the new Soviet reality. Four generations are depicted in riveting and often uproarious detail as they face the profound changes brought on by the demands of the Soviet regime and its collectivist, radical secularism. The resultant intergenerational showdowns—including disputes over the introduction of electricity, radio, or electric trolley—are rendered with humor, pathos, and a finely controlled satiric pen. Moyshe Kulbak, a contemporary of the Soviet Jewish writer Isaac Babel, picks up where Sholem Aleichem left off a generation before, exploring in this book the transformation of Jewish life. Translated by Hillel Halkin; Critical Introduction and Notes by Sasha Senderovich.
Press about the book:
Press about the book:
- Review by Madeleine Cohen in In geveb (2015)
- Review by Sonia Isard on The Jewniverse (2014)
- Interview with me by Mikhail Krutikov in The Yiddish Forward (2013, in Yiddish)
- Review by Mikhail Krutikov in The Yiddish Forward (2013, in Yiddish)
- Review by Rokhl Kafrissen for the Jewish Book Council (2013)
- Review by Ezra Glinter in The Forward (2013)
- Review by Bryan Cheyette in The Times Literary Supplement (2013)
- Podcast (41 minutes long) produced by the Yiddish Book Center (2013)