Harshav, Barbara 1940-

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HARSHAV, Barbara 1940-

(Barbara Benavie)

PERSONAL: Born 1940. Education: University of CaliforniaLos Angeles, A.B. (summa cum laude), 1962; University of Wisconsin—Madison, M.A., 1965; University of California—Berkeley, further graduate study, 1965-67.


ADDRESSES: Home—1241 Ridge Rd., North Haven, CT 06473; fax: 203-230-2596. E-mail—barbara. [email protected]

CAREER: Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, AL, instructor in history, 1964; San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, instructor in American history, 1965-66; North Carolina Central University, Durham, assistant professor of American history, 1967-69; Federal City College (now University of the District of Columbia), Washington, DC, associate professor of American history, 1969-75, program director for HEW Upward Mobility College, 1971-75; freelance translator from German, Yiddish, Hebrew, and French, 1978—. Affiliated with Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel, 1978-86; YIVO Institute, New York, NY, translator in residence, 1988-89; Yale University, adjunct instructor in comparative literature, 2000—.


MEMBER: Modern Language Association of America, PEN, American Literary Translators Association, Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Gamma Mu.


AWARDS, HONORS: Woodrow Wilson fellow, 1962.


WRITINGS:

TRANSLATOR

(With Benjamin Harshav and others; and editor, with Benjamin Harshav) American Yiddish Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1986.

Kenji Sugimoto, Albert Einstein: A Photobiography, Schocken Books (New York, NY), 1988.

Avigdor Dagan, The Court Jesters (novel), Jewish Publication Society (Philadelphia, PA), 1989.

Danuta Czech, Auschwitz Calendarium, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1990.

Lucette Valensi and Natan Wachtel, Jewish Memories, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1991.

(With Benjamin Harshav) Yehuda Amichai, Even a Fist Was Once an Open Palm with Fingers: Recent Poems, HarperPerennial (New York, NY), 1991.

(With Benjamin Harshav) Abraham Sutzkever, A. Sutzkever: Selected Poetry and Prose, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1991.

Amos Kenan, Odessa Mama, Atelier Dutrou (Paris, France), 1991.

Yehudit Katzir, Closing the Sea (short stories), Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (New York, NY), 1992.

(And editor, and author of introduction) Yitzhak Zuckerman ("Antek"), A Surplus of Memory: Chronicle of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1993.

(With Benjamin Harshav) Yehuda Amichai, Yehuda Amichai: A Life of Poetry, 1948-1994, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.

(And editor, and author of introduction) Simha Rotem ("Kazik"), Memoirs of a Warsaw Ghetto Fighter: The Past within Me, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1994.

Meir Shalev, Esau: A Novel, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.

Lucjan Dobroszycki, Reptile Journalism: The Offıcial Polish-Language Press under the Nazis, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1995.

Israel Zamir, Journey to My Father, Isaac Bashevis Singer (memoir), Arcade Publishing (New York, NY), 1995.

Yehudah Amihai Akhziv, Kesaryah ve-ahavah ahat, Shoken (Jerusalem, Israel), 1996.

Michael Brenner, After the Holocaust, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1997.

Emmanuel Levinas, Entre Nous: Thinking of the Other, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Michal Govrin, The Name, Riverhead Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Meir Shalev, The Loves of Judith, Ecco Press (Hopewell, NJ), 1997.

S. Y. Agnon, Yafo yefat yamin: Leket mi-tokh sipurav shel Sh. Y. Agnon, English Translation, Jaffa, Belle of the Seas: Selections from the works of S. Y. Agnon, selected and illustrated by David Sharir, Shoken (Jerusalem, Israel), 1998.

Pierre Rosanvallon, The New Social Question: Rethinking the Welfare State, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2000.

Amos Oz, The Silence of Heaven: Agnon's Fear of God, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2000.

S. Y. Agnon, Only Yesterday, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2000.

Puah Rakovsky, My Life as a Radical Jewish Woman, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 2002.

Riva Kastoryano, Negotiating Identities: State and Immigrants in France and Germany, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2002.

Hans Kippenberg, Discovering Religious History in the Modern Age, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2002.

Contributor of translations to anthologies, including Modern Israeli Drama, edited by Michael Taub, Heinemann (Portsmouth, NH), 1993; The Oxford Book of Hebrew Short Stories, edited by Glenda Abramson, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1996; Echoes of Israel: Contemporary Drama, edited by Marion Baraitser, Loki Books (London, England), 1999; Dreaming the Actual: Contemporary Fiction and Poetry by Israeli Women Writers, edited by Miriyam Glazer, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 2000; and Second Generation Voices, edited by Alan L. Berger and Naomi Berger, Syracuse University Press (Syracuse, NY), 2001. Contributor to periodicals, including Ariel: Israel Review of Arts, Forum, Present Tense, Moment, History and Memory, Ribcage: Israeli Women's Fiction, Lilith, Jewish History, Poetics Today, and Grand Street. Some translations appear under the name Barbara Benavie.

OTHER

Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals. Style editor, Poetics Today: International Journal for Theory and Communication, 1985-88; senior associate editor, Tel Aviv Review, 1985-86.


SIDELIGHTS: Barbara Harshav is a prominent translator who has won acclaim for her English-language renderings of various Yiddish and Hebrew texts. Her first work, American Yiddish Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology, is a collaborative effort that was published in 1986. Harshav also collaborated on the translations of A. Sutzkever: Selected Poetry and Prose and Yehuda Amichai's Even a Fist Was Once an Open Palm with Fingers: Recent Poems.


Harshav is the sole translator of The Court Jesters, a novel by Czech-Israeli diplomat and writer Avigdor Dagan about four Jewish prisoners who survive a Nazi concentration camp by serving as entertainers for the sadistic camp commander. Reviewing the work in the New York Times Book Review, Avery Rome remarked that this modern fairy tale that explores profound questions arising from the Holocaust was "translated with sensitivity." Harshav also translated Closing the Sea, a debut collection of four novellas by Israeli writer Yehudit Katzir. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Cathy A. Colman praised Harshav for her "flawless translation" of Katzir's work, whose stories offer commentary on contemporary Israeli society. She then translated Esau: A Novel, Meir Shalev's wide-ranging saga of sibling rivalry and deception set in modern-day Prague, Israel, and the United States.

Among Harshav's more widely known achievements is the editing and translation of A Surplus of Memory: Chronicle of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a memoir by Yitzhak Zuckerman, one of the few surviving fighters among the Warsaw Jews who rebelled, with disastrous consequences, against the Nazis in 1943. In addition to recounting the uprising, Zuckerman's volume records his endeavors on behalf of other survivors. Irving Howe, writing in New Republic, proclaimed that A Surplus of Memory "can stand together with [Nadezhda Mandelstam's] Hope Against Hope as revelations of what it meant to live and to die in the totalitarian age" and called attention to Harshav's accomplishment of "superbly" translating and editing the work, as she "provides almost all the auxiliary information a reader might need."


In 1994 Harshav collaborated on the translation and editing of Yehuda Amichai: A Life of Poetry, 1948-1994 and Memoirs of a Warsaw Ghetto Fighter: The Past within Me, by Simha Rotem. Rotem was among the Warsaw Jews who managed to evade the Nazis by fleeing through the sewers and finding safety in the houses of sympathizers and in the countryside. Harshav then translated another work about the plight of Poles during World War II, Lucjan Dobroszycki's Reptile Journalism: The Offıcial Polish-Language Press under the Nazis.


Harshav is also the translator of Journey to My Father, Isaac Bashevis Singer. This memoir recalls Israel Zamir's search for his father, the Nobel Prize-winning writer. Singer abandoned Zamir and his mother in the mid-1930s, immigrated to the United States, and eventually remarried. Singer and Zamir did not meet again until the mid-1950s. Zamir documents the father-son relationship in Journey to My Father, described as a "bittersweet memoir" by Roger Kamanetz in the New York Times Book Review.


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

New Republic, May 3, 1993, Irving Howe, review of A Surplus of Memory: Chronicle of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, pp. 29-36.

New York Times Book Review, November 12, 1989, Avery Rome, review of American Yiddish Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology, p. 55; May 17, 1992, Cathy A. Colman, review of Closing the Sea, p. 35; December 10, 1995, Roger Kamenetz, review of Journey to My Father, Isaac Bashevis Singer, p. 35.