Featured Posts

November 4, 2018

What have midwifery, satire, dolphin cognition and sneering got in common?

Find out in this exclusive interview. . .


July 4, 2018

Read an exclusive extract of Messiah in America over at In geveb: a Journal of Yiddish Studies

"We’ll get our own Messiah—and a better one than Menachem’s. Charlie, brother, we’re going to deliver a modern Messiah. A Kovner Zionist with a monocle. He’ll speak English. A...

June 29, 2018

Mikhail Krutikov reviews Messiah in America for the Yiddish Forverts

"Shapiro's translation manages to capture the playful pungency of Nadir's characteristic style. That is quite an achievement . . . "


June 6, 2018

The first review of Messiah in America is in!

"A terrific new translation of Moyshe Nadir’s uproariously acidic take on Depression-era Jewish-American life"

Check out Rokhl Kafrissen's column in Tablet Magazine.

April 21, 2018

Spring, messieurs et mesdames, is a most admirable season. In spring the birds sing “tweet-tweet”; the streams sing “zhr-r-r”; and the trees sway this way and that, this way and that, with extraordinary energy—but the poor forest alas!, must stand on its feet all day,...

April 21, 2018

A butterfly alighted on the muzzle of a cannon. It was so bright and beautiful, it looked like a tinted symbol of the Deity . . . a token of the good Lord, Who sits Above, and paints gay butterflies.

So, the butterfly alighted on the muzzle of a cannon, and—nothing more...

April 21, 2018

Lines on the Death of Moyshe Nadir

Composed by His Very Self

To the memory of Moyshe Nadir,—

Once among the living

And neatly combed—

Who did spend two or three hours daily

On the perfect knotting of his cravat,

And who loved his every finger nail;

Loved, and esteemed, and pro...

September 15, 2017

Once upon a time there was an emperor who ruled over a land that was immeasurably large, beautiful, and prosperous. Like every other emperor, he possessed a treasure-chamber, in the midst of which, among all the shining, glittering jewels, there lay a horn. But this wa...

September 15, 2017

If I had to die now,

I would say:

“Was that it?”


“I’m not quite sure I understood it.


“It was a bit loud.”


Translated by Pól Peist

September 14, 2017

Plan your itinerary in broad strokes; let the details sort themselves out as the whims of the hour dictate.

The world is the biggest tourist attraction there is—get out there and see it.

There isn’t a man alive with such a comprehensive overview that he can understand an...

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Fairy Tale

September 15, 2017

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