Fic­tion

The Lost Shtetl

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2019
What if there was a town that Hitler missed?

For over fifty years the tiny Jew­ish shtetl of Kreskol has exist­ed vir­tu­al­ly untouched and unchanged. Spared of the Holo­caust and Cold War, Kreskol has enjoyed an iso­lat­ed peace. But when a mar­riage dis­pute spi­rals out of con­trol, Kreskol is sud­den­ly redis­cov­ered and brought into the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry. Pesha is in a love­less, arranged mar­riage and sum­mons the courage to escape Kreskol on foot. But when her hus­band goes after her, pan­icked town lead­ers (pro­tect­ing secrets of their own) send a woe­ful­ly unpre­pared young man out to bring them home. The orphaned out­cast named Yankel, unlearned, func­tion­al­ly illit­er­ate (his Yid­dish is use­less to the mod­ern-day out­side world), and tagged with an incon­ceiv­able ori­gin sto­ry, soon finds him­self in the care of a psych ward. But when the truth comes out about his ori­gins, his name is splashed across the cov­ers of Pol­ish news­pa­pers.

Ready or not, Poland com­mits to return­ing Yankel to Kreskol, and rein­te­grat­ing the town that time for­got. In the course of doing so, the devi­ous ori­gins of the town’s dis­ap­pear­ance come into the light. And what has become of those run­aways? Kreskol, torn asun­der by dis­agree­ment between those embrac­ing change and those cling­ing to its old-world ways, may soon be forced to make a choice or dis­ap­pear altogether.

Discussion Questions