by Esther Kreitman
Translation and introduction by Heather Valencia
Diamonds tells the story of an Orthodox Jewish diamond merchant in Antwerp on the eve of the First World War. Diamond workers vie with each other to gain his favours, but he is hard to please. His long-suffering wife accepts his dictatorial ways but his children suffer, his son is drifting and his daughter is a spendthrift. As the Kaiser's army closes in on Antwerp panic ensues and the family flee to London....
Heather Valencia's fine translation of Esther Kreitman's novel is the first-ever in English. It was originally published in 1944 in Yiddish. Kreitman was the elder sister of Isaac Bashevis Singer. It echoes the author's own flight to England with her husband, a diamond cutter, at the outbreak of the Great War.
Praise for Esther Kreitman's Blitz and Other Stories:
"Remarkable, fraught vignettes of lovelessness and disappointment "
Howard Jacobson, The Times
"Perhaps now ... Esther Kreitman will be spoken about ... as a writer of distinction".
Clive Sinclair, TLS
"The sheer story-telling skill of Kreitman's prose reminds us how past worlds are evoked through detail, practical reminders of daily lives and customs which no longer exist."
The Jewish Quarterly
ISBN 978- 09548482-0-0
Paperback - 294pp - March 2010