Born To Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods by Michael Wex

Born To Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods

byMichael Wex

Paperback | August 15, 2006

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A delightful excursion through the Yiddish language, the culture it defines and serves, and the fine art of complaint

Throughout history, Jews around the world have had plenty of reasons to lament. And for a thousand years, they've had the perfect language for it. Rich in color, expressiveness, and complexity, Yiddish has proven incredibly useful and durable. Its wonderful phrases and idioms impeccably reflect the mind-set that has enabled the Jews of Europe to survive a millennium of unrelenting persecution . . . and enables them to kvetch about it!

Michael Wex&#8212professor, scholar, translator, novelist, and performer&#8212takes a serious yet unceasingly fun and funny look at this remarkable kvetch-full tongue that has both shaped and has been shaped by those who speak it. Featuring chapters on curse words, food, sex, and even death, he allows his lively wit and scholarship to roam freely from Sholem Aleichem to Chaucer to Elvis.

Perhaps only a khokhem be-layle (a fool, literally a "sage at night," when there's no one around to see) would care to pass up this endearing and enriching treasure trove of linguistics, sociology, history, and folklore&#8212an intriguing appreciation of a unique and enduring language and an equally fascinating culture.

About The Author

Novelist, lecturer, and translator Michael Wex is one of the leading lights in the revival of Yiddish, and author of theNew York TimesbestsellerBorn to Kvetchand its follow-up,Just Say Nu.

Details & Specs

Title:Born To Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its MoodsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.76 inPublished:August 15, 2006Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061132179

ISBN - 13:9780061132179

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“Required reading.”