Today, Kanovich is the only writer in the entire world capable of depicting the life of the pre-war Jewish shtetl with the documentary precision of an immediate witness and the deep emotional passion of a lover mourning his loss.He survived the Holocaust almost by a miracle, and made it his mission to serve, against all odds, as a custodian of the collective memory of generations of Litvaks, Lithuanian Jews. Set in the rural
Lithuanian landscape on the eve of World War II, Shtetl Love Song is full of tender aff ection, soft irony, and sharp observations. Guided by the memory of his beloved mother, the masterful narrator takes us into the very midst of his enchanted family world, recreating the past that is irrevocably destroyed and yet fully alive in his memory.
Mikhail Krutikov, Professor of Slavic and
Judaic Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Shtetl Love Song
Grigory Kanovich's autobiographical novel ‘Shtetl Love Song’ is based on real events from the life of the author's family and the small town characters that peopled the world of his early years. It has been described as being a requiem for the pre-war Lithuanian Jewish shtetl.
‘I had intended for quite a long time to write about my mother with that joyous enthusiasm and abundant detail with which it is fitting to recall one's parents, the people closest and dearest to you’
In ‘Shtetl Love Song’ Grigory Kanovich writes about his mother, and in doing so peels back the surface of the rich community that lived in pre-war Lithuania. It is a requiem for the pre-war Jewish shtetl, for a people and a way of life that was destroyed.
Shtetl Love Song won the Liudo Dovydeno Prize awarded by the Lithuanian Writers’ Union
Grigory Kanovich, born 1929, is one of the most prominent modern Lithuanian Jewish writers, winner of Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts. Kanovich was born into a traditional Jewish family in the Lithuanian town of Jonava. He has written more than ten novels – a virtual epic saga – dealing with the vicissitudes of the history of Eastern European Jewry from the 19th century to the present day.
‘Probably the last link in the chain is Grigory Kanovich’ Tomas Venclova