On a Clear April Morn­ing: A Jew­ish Journey

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2019

Final­ly, the first lit­er­ary work to por­tray the Brazil­ian Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty is avail­able in Eng­lish. Pub­lished in Por­tuguese in 1940, On a Clear April Morn­ing is a lyri­cal and riv­et­ing com­ing-of-age sto­ry, set among ear­ly twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry Jew­ish set­tlers brought to an unknown farm­ing exper­i­ment in an iso­lat­ed cor­ner of Brazil, spon­sored by the lega­cy of Baron Hirsch and oth­er Jew­ish rail­road tycoons. This auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal nov­el is filled with dra­ma, joy, dis­as­ter, romance and humor as the young hero trav­els from farms where crops wouldn’t grow and trag­ic acci­dents car­ry away chil­dren, to towns where this Yid­dish-speak­ing young­ster falls in love, stud­ies phi­los­o­phy with the Jesuits and becomes an impor­tant mem­ber of Brazil’s lit­er­ary world. This first Eng­lish edi­tion includes elu­ci­dat­ing his­tor­i­cal notes on the ori­gin of Jew­ish farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties in the U.S., Cana­da, and South Amer­i­ca and the con­tri­bu­tions of Jews and oth­er immi­grants to the devel­op­ment of an avant-garde intel­lec­tu­al cen­ter far off the beat­en path, by the trans­la­tor, Mer­rie Block­er, a retired U.S. For­eign Ser­vice officer.

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