Miriam Karpilove

Miriam Karpilove’s wildly popular Yiddish stories explored the tensions and frustrations Jewish women faced at the turn of the century—the desire for secular education, the hunger to participate in a wider culture, and the hardships of immigration. Karpilove grew up in an observant home but also studied secular subjects, training as a photographer and retoucher. She immigrated to the US in 1905, but became involved in the Labor Zionist movement and spent several years in Palestine in the 1920s. She published her first creative writing in 1906, eventually creating a variety of plays, criticism, short fiction, and serialized novels for major Yiddish periodicals such as the Forverts, Tog, and Morgen–Zhurnal, even becoming a staff writer for the Forverts from 1929–1937. While her work was never translated into English, her stories of young women navigating between the strictures of tradition and the freedom of modern culture struck a deep chord with immigrant audiences.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Miriam Karpilove." (Viewed on September 29, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/karpilove-miriam>.


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