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|Additional Physical Format:||Online version:
Calof, Rachel (Rachel Bella), b. 1876.
Rachel Calof's story.
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c1995
|Named Person:||Rachel Calof|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
Rachel Calof; J Sanford Rikoon
|ISBN:||0253329426 9780253329424 0253209862 9780253209863 0253329183 9780253329189|
|Description:||xiii, 158 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.|
|Contents:||My story / Rachel Bella Calof --
Epilogue / Jacob Calof --
Jewish farm settlements in America's heartland / J. Sanford Rikoon --
Rachel Bella Calof's life as collective history / Elizabeth Jameson.
|Responsibility:||J. Sanford Rikoon, volume editor ; [translated from the Yiddish by Jacob Calof and Molly Shaw].|
In 1894, eighteen-year-old Rachel Bella Kahn travelled from Russia to the United States for an arranged marriage to Abraham Calof, an immigrant homesteader in North Dakota. Rachel Calof's Story combines her memoir of a hard pioneering life on the prairie with scholarly essays that provide historical and cultural background and show her narrative to be both unique and a representative western tale. Her narrative is riveting and candid, laced with humor and irony. The memoir, written by Rachel Bella Calof in 1936, recounts aspects of her childhood and teenage years in a Jewish community, (shtetl) in Russia, but focuses largely on her life between 1894 and 1904, when she and her husband carved out a life as homesteaders. She recalls her horror at the hardships of pioneer life, especially the crowding of many family members into the 12 x 14' dirt-floored shanties that were their first dewllings. "Of all the privations I knew as a homesteader," says Calof, "the lack of privacy was the hardest to bear." Money, food, and fuel were scarce, and during bitter winters, three Calof householdsAbraham and Rachel with their growing children, along with his parents and a brother's familywould pool resources and live together (with livestock) in one shanty. - Publisher.
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