SHEYNE (SARAH) FEYGE FONER (1855-1937)
Her full surname was Foner-Meinkin. She was a descendent of the Vilna Gaon and the wife of Meyer Foner. She received both a Jewish and a general education. For many years she worked as a private Hebrew and Yiddish teacher in Bialystok, Grodno, and Dvinsk, and until 1901 in Lodz. She later lived in New York and Chicago. From 1875 she was publishing stories and novels in: Hamelits (The advocate), Hatsfira (The siren), and Yidishes folksblat (Jewish people’s newspaper) in St. Petersburg, among other venues. In Hebrew she published: Derekh yeladim o sipur miyerushalayim (The path of children or a story from Jerusalem) (Vienna, 1885/1886), 16 pp.; Ahavat yesharim, o hamishpaḥot hamerudafot, sipur min haet haḥadasha (The love of the righteous; or the persecuted families, a story from the modern era) (Vilna, 1881), 149 pp.; Beged bogedim (Clothing of traitors) (Warsaw, 1891), 36 pp.; Mizikhronot yeme yalduti, o mare hair dvinsk (Memoirs of my childhood days, or a view of the city of Dvinsk) (Warsaw, 1903), 52 pp.—images of Jewish life in Dvinsk in the 1860s. She translated herself into Yiddish Eyne troyerike libe (A sorrowful love) (Lodz, 1889), 56 pp., which she signed Sheyn Feyge M. (her maiden name was Meinkin); and Di kleyd fun a ferreter (The clothing of a traitor) (Warsaw, 1892), 82 pp. She also published under the pen name “A Dvinskern.” A number of her stories were published anonymously in the late nineteenth century in Lodz. She died alone and forgotten in Chicago.
Sources: Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), see index; David Patterson, The Hebrew Novel in Czarist Russia (Edinburgh, 1964); Yankev Glatshteyn, and Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (January 15, 1965).
Khayim Leyb Fuks