YANKL RIVES (January 6, 1886-1975)
He was an author of stories and novels, born in Osveye (Aśvieja), Byelorussia, into a poor family of fishermen. He worked as a tailor. From his youth, he was involved in the revolutionary movement, and from 1919 he was a member of the Communist Party. During the years of the Soviet civil war, he worked with the Bolshevik underground in Byelorussia. He published his first stories in 1919 in Vilner vokhenblat (Vilna weekly newspaper), Tog (Day), Der shtern (The star), and Der shnayder (The tailor), and later in Sovetish (Soviet), and Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland), among other serials. His work also appeared in Dertseylungen fun yidishe sovetishe shrayber (Stories by Soviet Yiddish writers) (Moscow, 1969). His works include: Untererd, dertseylungen (Underground, stories) (Moscow: Central Publ., 1929), 135 pp.; Bam yam un andere dertseylungen (By the sea and other stories) (Moscow-Kharkov-Minsk: Central Publ., 1931), 160 pp.; In teg fun fargreytung (In the days of preparation), stories (Minsk: State Publ., 1935), 99 pp.; Yan dzembo, khronik (Yan Dzembo, a chronicle) (Moscow: Emes, 1938), 157 pp.; Farborgene koykhes (Hidden strength) (Moscow: Emes, 1941), 210 pp.; Bol’sheviki, roman (Bolsheviks, a novel) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1966), 167 pp.; Der veg tsum zig, roman (The road to victory) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1975), 182 pp. In Rives’s stories and novels, which bear a memoirist, autobiographical character, there is reflected the revolutionary work with which he was personally involved in Russia.
Sources: Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1962), see index; Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 3 (1975), p. 189; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
[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. 363].