The Dark Young Man

First Time in English!
Coming February 12, 2019

By Jacob Dinezon
Translated from the Yiddish by Tina Lunson
Edited and Adapted by Scott Hilton Davis
Published by Jewish Storyteller Press
Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.
ISBN 978-0-9798156-3-8

Jacob Dinezon’s dramatic first novel was published in 1877 and quickly became a runaway bestseller. Considered the first realistic romance written in Yiddish, The Dark Young Man relates the efforts of a ruthless brother-in-law determined to protect his position of power by destroying the reputation of a beloved prospective bridegroom. Yiddish author I. L. Peretz wrote, “Never has such a righteous hatred flamed over all that’s bad and evil as over the Dark Young Man, who, with his intrigues, annihilated a family of blameless souls.”

Set in a suburb of the Russian city of Mohilev in the 1840s, Jacob Dinezon’s poignant tale delves deeply into the personalities and politics of Jewish middle class society, and describes in vivid detail the growing opposition to arranged marriages, the disparities between rich and poor, and the challenges of assimilation and modernity on traditional Jewish life.

A tale of suspense, betrayal, love, and death, Dinezon’s The Dark Young Man is a startling fictional account of mid-nineteenth century Jewish life, culture, and religion by a beloved author and masterful storyteller.

About the Author

Jacob Dinezon (1851?-1919) was a beloved and successful 19th-century Jewish novelist who wrote poignant stories about Eastern European urban and shtetl life. Called the “Father of the Jewish Realistic Romance,” Dinezon focused on the emotional conflicts affecting young people as the modern ideas of the Jewish Enlightenment challenged traditional religious practices and social norms. Frequently, the plight of his characters brought tears to the eyes of his devoted readers.

Learn more about Jacob Dinezon at

About the Translator

Tina Lunson is the former administrative director and senior consultant to the Vilnius Program in Yiddish Language and Literature at Vilnius University in Lithuania. She worked with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum as an expert researcher and translator, and served as an historical consultant and on-site guide for two Holocaust-era films in Lithuania. Lunson received her Master of Arts in Jewish History from Baltimore Hebrew University and has completed post-graduate work at Columbia University in Yiddish Literature. Her English translations of Yiddish works include Jacob Dinezon’s Memories and Scenes: Shtetl, Childhood, Writers and The Dark Young Man, Holocaust memorial books, and commissioned translations of personal correspondence and diaries.

About the Editor

Scott Hilton Davis is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, author, storyteller, and collector of Jewish short stories from turn of the twentieth-century Eastern Europe. For the past several years, Scott has been working to bring English translations of the Yiddish works of Jacob Dinezon to twenty-first-century readers. He is the author of Souls Are Flying! A Celebration of Jewish Stories and Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik.

Coming in 2019.

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