TOLUSH (pseudonym of Iser Muselevitsh ; 1887–1962), Yiddish writer, born in Dvinsk, Latvia. Orphaned at an early age, he was virtually self-educated. Upon arriving in the U.S. in 1920, he shifted from writing in Russian to Yiddish. He worked at numerous occupations and wandered across much of Europe, Palestine, and the U.S. The designation Tolush (Heb. "detached" / "displaced") was given him by Z. *Shneour to characterize his itinerant life. His writing, influenced by Gorky and reflecting his wandering, introduced into Yiddish literature bohemian and unusual characters and settings. His works include Der Yam Roysht ("The Sea Roars," 1921), A Zump ("A Swamp," 1922), Voglenish ("Wandering," 1938), Yidishe Shrayber ("Yiddish Authors," 1953), and Mayn Tatns Nign ("My Father's Melody," 1957).
M. Ḥalamish (ed.), Mi-Kan u-mi-Karov (1966), 27–32; Rejzen, Leksikon, 4 (1929), 891–6. add. bibliography: lnyl, 8 (1981), 804–5.
[Leonard Prager /
Jerold C. Frakes (2nd ed.)]