- A House with Seven Windows: Short Stories
A House with Seven Windows is as pertinent today as it was when Kadya Molodowsky wrote in the preface of the original Yiddish edition, "In our time, people have moved from an inner, spiritual world to a life of externals, to things that flaunt themselves in one's face, that have more glitter than warmth, more talk than thought; more outward show than introspection." Molodowsky, who was one of the preeminent Yiddish writers of the 20th century, was born in Belarus and active in the Yiddish social and literary movements in Kiev and Warsaw in the 1920s, emigrating to the U.S. when she was forty-one. She published continuously until the 1970s, primarily poetry; A House…is her only collection of short stories. These stories are Jewish tales—narratives imaginatively recounted with "everyday" characters that struggle with daily life, moral dilemmas, and survival in Eastern Europe or as new immigrants in the U.S. They exemplify a yidishkayt sensibility and style, as we see reflected in the story "Unhappy Celebrations," which opens, "When a person is a little less than a person—it doesn't hurt as much. He just blends in with the crowd. He lives his life. But it's worse when a person is more than a person, because it's that little 'more' that really hurts. That little 'more' hurts more than the little 'less.' Then people compare him to the stalk of a cabbage, in fact to even bigger things than that, but they also avoid him."