KARPINOVITSH, AVROM (1918–2004), Yiddish writer. Born in Vilna, he studied at the Vilna Realgymnasium where his teachers included the poet M. *Kulbak and the literary historian Max *Erik. He left Vilna in 1937 for Birobidjan, returning in 1944. Intercepted by the British in 1947 as an illegal immigrant to Palestine, he was interned in Cyprus, reached Israel in 1949, and settled in Tel Aviv, where he became the administrator of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Throughout his career his writing remained focused on the life of Vilna's Jews. His collections Af Vilner Gasn ("On Vilna Streets," 1981), Vilne, Mayn Vilne ("Vilna, My Vilna," 1993), Geven, Geven Amol Vilne ("Once, Once There Was Vilna," 1997), among others, recapture the atmosphere of prewar Vilna Jewish society – not the city of high culture but the colorful Jewish underworld. He evokes its characters with humor, affection, and humanity, in an expressive Lithuanian Yiddish. His friend, poet Avrom *Sutskever, said that apart from Chaim *Grade no one could write about Vilna as well as Karpinovitsh. A passionate supporter of Yiddish culture, he co-edited the second Almanakh fun di Yidishe Shrayber in Yisroel (1967) and was a frequent contributor to the quarterly Di Goldene Keyt and the newspaper Letste Nayes.
M. Ravitch, Mayn Leksikon, 3 (1958), 366f. add. bibliography: H. Beer, in: Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century (2003), 274–5; S. Bickel, Shrayber fun Mayn Dor, 3 (1970), 346–51; A. Golumb, in: Di Goldene Keyt, 60 (1967), 256ff.; A. Karpinovitsh, in: Di Pen (Feb. 1995), 33–6 (interview).
[Israel Ch. Biletzky /
Heather Valencia (2nd ed.)]