Tuesday, 10 July 2018

ANYUTA PYATIGORSKAYA


ANYUTA PYATIGORSKAYA (1893-February 1943)
            Her Jewish given name was Khane (Hannah), born in Zhitomir, Ukraine.  Her grandfather and father descended from the Caucasus Jews who had been driven from the Caucasus region.  Both parents were teachers.  She grew up in an assimilated family of intellectuals.  At age sixteen she graduated with a medal from the Zhitomir state high school.  She worked in the Jewish craft school in Russian.  She initially wrote Russian poetry at age nineteen.  She learned Yiddish, studied Yiddish literature, and began to write in the language.  She taught Yiddish in the Jewish schools of Zhitomir, Kiev, and Malakhovka (near Moscow).  In 1915 she debuted in print with children’s stories in Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) in Vilna.  In 1925 she published her first Yiddish poem in Di royte velt (The red world) in Kharkov.  She placed work in the Soviet Yiddish publications: Yunge gvardye (Young guard), Yidish poyer (Jewish peasant), Shtern (Star), and Prolit (Proletarian literature), among other serials.  Also, in such anthologies as the following: Far der bine (For the stage), Almanakh fun di yidishe shrayber af ukraine (Almanac of Yiddish writers in Ukraine) (1926), and Shlakht (Battles).  Her work is included in Ezra Korman’s Yidishe dikhterins (Yiddish poetesses) (Chicago, 1928).  In book form: In gang, lider (In progress, poetry) (Kiev: Kultur-lige, 1930), 78 pp.; Breyt iz mayn land (Far-reaching is my country), poetry (Kharkov, 1934), 55 pp.; Af der vakh (On guard), stories (Kiev, 1935), 32 pp.; In oyfshtayg, lider (In ascent, poetry) (Moscow: Emes, 1940), 63 pp.  In the years just before WWII, she lived in Leningrad, worked as a teacher, actively took part in literary life, and visited Birobidzhan.  She lived through the first two besieged winters in Leningrad.  Thereafter, she was evacuated, extremely ill and emaciated, to the Ural Mountains to the town of Zlatoust where she died soon afterward.

Sources: Ezra Korman, Yidishe dikhterins (Yiddish poetesses) (Chicago, 1928), pp. 325, 330, 351; A. Druker, in Shpanye in der yidish-sovetisher literatur (Spain in Soviet Yiddish literature) (Kiev, February 1938)?; N. Y. Gotlib, Sovetishe shrayber (Soviet writers) (Montreal, 1945); Nakhmen Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetnfarband (Jewish creation and the Jewish writer in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961).
Yankev Kahan

[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 280.]


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