A volumes offering over fifty stories by Yiddish writers in translation is marked by its serious intent and fine editing. An introduction which gives the historical and critical background to deepen the reader's understanding of the place of Yiddish in East European Jewish culture, of shtetl life to which so many of the stories pertain, probes the assumptions and themes inherent in the literature, even the nature of the language itself; through notes on the authors and individual stories, and a glossary -- the editors have set the table for the feast. Selections begin with the fathers of Yiddish literature who wrote in the late nineteenth century -- Mendele, Sholom Aleichem, Peretz. Newer voices include Sholem Asch, I. J. Singer, Abraham Reisen, Lamed Shapiro, Chaim Grade- the last two among these not previously translated. Shtetl life is the foremost subject, but it gives way to days of Nazi martyrdom and includes stories of Jewish immigrants to America. A section of folk tales points to the roots of the language and literature. Isaac Rosenfeld, Ludwig Lewisohn, Saul Bellow, Alfred Kazin and many other notables are among the translators. At once a tribute and critique and treasury, this has a literary, commemorative and reference value.