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Author Inspired by Yiddish Folklore to Speak at Ithaca College

ITHACA, NY -- Steve Stern, the acclaimed author of novels and stories with a deep grounding in Yiddish folklore, will read from and speak about his latest book on Thursday, Oct. 7, at Ithaca College. His presentation, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Klingenstein Lounge, Egbert Hall. 

Stern’s newest novel — “The Frozen Rabbi” — is about a rabbi who has literally been frozen alive in a block of ice that travels from Poland to Manhattan to a Jewish community in Memphis, Tennessee, where he is accidentally defrosted. The “New York Times” says that the book “lets Stern spill a hundred years of vivid Jewish history onto the page. But it doesn’t keep him from revealing, with depth and subtlety, the yearning and agony of all the characters who are lucky (or unlucky) enough to have their fates lashed to that of the frozen rabbi.”

A Memphis native, Stern left to attend college and travel abroad before returning to work at a local folklore center. It was there he learned about the city’s old Jewish ghetto and began to steep himself in Yiddish folklore. Hailed by one prominent Jewish writer as the successor to Isaac Bashevis Singer, Stern is the author of such critically acclaimed books as “Isaac and the Undertaker’s Daughter,” “The Wedding Jester,” “The Angel of Forgetfulness” and “The North of God.”

His works have been honored with the O. Henry Award, two Pushcart Prize awards and the National Jewish Book Award. He currently teaches at Skidmore College.

Stern’s visit is presented by the Jewish Studies Program, with cosponsorship by the Departments of English and Writing. For more information contact Rebecca Lesses, coordinator of Jewish studies, at (607) 274-3556 or