Monday 23 May 2016


RUS VAYS (RUTH WISSE) (b. May 13, 1936)
            She was born in Czernowitz.  She moved with her parents to Montreal in the late 1930s.  There she graduated from the Jewish public school and studied at McGill and Columbia Universities.  She received her doctoral degree for a dissertation entitled: “The Schlemiel as Hero in Yiddish and American Fiction.”  She was professor of Yiddish literature at a number of universities, [including, most recently, Harvard].  She has written articles of criticism and research for Goldene keyt (Golden chain) in Tel Aviv and other Yiddish as well as English-language periodicals.  Into English she translated: Chaim Grade’s Der brunem (The well), part of Grade’s Der shulhoyf (The synagogue courtyard); Y. M. Vaysenberg’s Dos shtetl (The town); and Avraham Sutskever’s poetry; among other works.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 242.

[Ruth Wisse’s English-language bibliography is much longer and far more distinguished than this entry would indicate. (JAF)]

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