Y. A. LISKI (I. A. LISKY) (June 12, 1903-May 22, 1990)
The pseudonym of Yude-Itamar Fuks, the brother of the writer A. M. Fuks, he was born in Yezerna, eastern Galicia, to a father who was a village merchant. He attended religious elementary school, a Baron Hirsch school, and later worked with a private tutor. In his youth he traveled with his father through villages. During WWI, when the Russia army was occupying Galicia, Liski fled to Lemberg and worked there for a time in a tavern, before returning home. Over the years 1924-1930, he lived in Vienna where he was a member of the circle of young Yiddish writers (M. Naygreshl, B. Shnafer, Ziskind Lev, and others). He later lived for a time in Paris, from whence he moved to London where he lived for some time. In 1957 he visited the state of Israel with a delegation of community leaders. He debuted in print with a story entitled “Payn” (Anguish) in Yidish (Yiddish) in Vienna (no. 1, 1928), and in issue no. 3 he published the story “Gendz” (Geese). He also wrote for Tsushayer (Contribution) in Lemberg (1929-1930). Soon after settling in London, he became an internal contributor to Morris Meyer’s Di tsayt (The times), in which he published sketches and articles and performed journalistic editorial work. He was co-editor of Di ovnt-nayes (The evening news), an afternoon publication of Di tsayt. He also placed work in Di idishe post (The Jewish mail) in London, and later (until its last issue in 1940) once again wrote for Di tsayt. He also wrote for: Der morgn (The morning) in Lemberg (1930-1932); Oyfgang (Arise) in Sighet-Marmației (1933); Y. N. Shteynberg’s Dos fraye vort (The free word) in London (1935-1936); Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), Hamer (Hammer), and Frayhayt (Freedom) in New York (1938-1939); Yidish london (Jewish London) in London (1938-1939); the almanacs Vaytshepl lebn (Whitechapel life) in London (1951) and Yoyvl-almanakh (Jubilee almanacs) in London (1956); Fraye horizontn (Free horizons) in Paris (1952); Loshn un lebn (Language and life) in London. From 1932 he was the main contributor and for a time co-editor (with B. A. Sokhatshevski and L. Sh. Kreditor) of the weekly newspaper Di yidishe shtime (The Yiddish voice) in London. He also wrote for the English-language periodicals The Left Review, New Life, and was a regular writer for Jewish Chronicle—all in London. From 1958 he was writing for Unzer shtime (Our voice) in Paris, where he published, among other items, portraits of the young writers’ group in Galicia between the two world wars. His books include: Produktivizatsye, dertseylungen (Productivization, stories), concerning Jewish life in Galicia during the era of WWI (London, 1937), 136 pp.; For, du kleyner kozak, dertseylung (On your way, little Cossack!, a story), with a foreword by Sh. Goldberg and drawings by Alva (London, 1942), 48 pp.; Melokhe bezuye, dertseylung (Humiliating profession, a story), describing the spiritual condition of Jewish life during the era of WWII, with drawings by Dovid Nomberg (London, 1947), 100 pp., English edition translated by Hanna Berman under the title The Cockerel in the Basket (London, 1955), 56 pp. A number of Liski’s stories were published in the five issues of Jewish Literary Gazette (London, 1951), which he edited with Y. Zontag. He also compiled and edited the two-volume Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings) of the deceased poet Y. H. Levi (London, 1956-1959). He was one of the leaders of the Jewish Writers’ and Journalists’ Union in London and vice-president of the association “Friends of the Yiddish Language in England.”
Sources: Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (December 28, 1931); Morris Meyer, in Di tsayt (London) (January 12, 1937); B. Shlevin, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (Mfrch 26, 1937); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (November 17, 1937); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (August 25, 1937; January 10, 1943); Y. H. Levi, in Di tsayt and Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings), vol. 2 (London, 1956), pp. 57-59; Sh. Ravidovits, in Metsada (London) (December 1943); Avrom Shulman, in Kiem (Paris) 9-11 (1952); Shulman, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (February 9, 1960); Sh. Oyerbakh, in Di idishe shtime (Paris) (March 14-15, 1959); M. Mindl, in Loshn un lebn (London) (October 1954); Dr. M. Naygreshl, in Fun noentn over (New York) 1 (1955), pp. 390-91; A. Nehor, in Yediot aḥaronot (Tel Aviv) (October 16, 1959); N. M. Sida, in The Circle (London) (February 1937); Y. Heler, in Zionist Review (London) (December 31, 1943); Cassel’s Encyclopedia of Literature (London, 1953).
Khayim Leyb Fuks