SU Press Author Wins Modern Language Association of America Book Award
The Modern Language Association of America (MLA) has selected Jerold C. Frakes as co-winner of this year’s Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize in Yiddish Studies for his book “Early Yiddish Epic” (2014) published by the Syracuse University Press.
The MLA prize is awarded each even-numbered year and is given alternately to an outstanding translation of a Yiddish literary work and to an outstanding scholarly work in English in the field of Yiddish. The MLA and its 24,000 members in 100 countries work to strengthen the study and teaching of languages and literature.
The MLA committee’s citation for Frakes’s book reads:
“In ‘Early Yiddish Epic,’ Jerold C. Frakes uses his vast and precise historical and philological knowledge of Old Yiddish to render the great epic texts written in that language into lucid, vivid, and compelling English prose…. ‘Early Yiddish Epic’ is a field-changing book in the strictest sense of that term; now that these long-neglected works are available in English translation, the study of Yiddish literature will experience a shift in its center of gravity.”
Frakes is SUNY Distinguished Professor of English at the University at Buffalo, where he has taught since 2006. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Memphis State University and an M.A. and a Ph.D from the University of Minnesota. He is author of six books.
“Early Yiddish Epic” was published by the Syracuse University Press in the Judaic Traditions in Literature, Music, and Art series.