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“Stories of Exile” reading groups at S.F. Public Library
The Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial branch of the San Francisco Public Library is one of more than two dozen libraries across the United States participating in the Yiddish Book Center’s “Stories of Exile” Reading Groups for Public Libraries program series. Meant to engage teens and adults in thinking about experiences of displacement, migration, and diaspora, the program series will include three books of Yiddish literature in translation paired here in San Francisco with three books by California LGBTQIA+ authors exploring those themes.
The next installment of the series will be the afternoon of Saturday, September 30 through existing book clubs at the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial branch library, with discussion of Beyond the Pale by Elana Nachman Dykewoman.
Born in a Russian-Jewish settlement, Gutke Gurvich is a midwife who immigrates to New York’s Lower East Side with her partner, a woman passing as a man. Their story crosses with that of Chava Meyer, a girl who was attended by Gutke at her birth and was later orphaned during the Kishinev pogrom of 1903. Chava has come to America with the family of her cousin Rose, and the two girls begin working at fourteen. As they live through the oppression and tragedies of their time, Chava and Rose grow to become lovers–and search for a community they can truly call their own.
All six books in the series grapple with questions of homelands, journeys, identity, and belonging. Librarian-facilitated discussions will offer readers an opportunity to explore each book, and for those participating in more than one discussion across the series, a chance to consider the similarities and differences in perspective and experience revealed across multiple books. The link is to the ebook version, and physical copies can be picked up from the desk at the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial branch.
This is an in-person only event.