Daughter of the Shtetl
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Doba-Mera Medvedeva belongs to a vanishingly small group of memoirists who are neither elite nor highly literate, but whose observations from the ground cast a vivid light on a lost world. The book reveals the quarrelsome underside of shtetl life at a time of scarce resources, and describes how Doba-Mera survives two pogroms and two world wars. Around 1905, barely a teenager but already earning a living, she joins Marxist circles and takes part in clandestine activities. Through her eyes we experience the class divisions in shtetl and synagogue, as well as aspects of everyday life such as education, courtship and marriage, housing, food, illness, and the organization of the working life and working conditions in sewing shops.