Diamond Fiddler book is an eye-opening deep dive into Fiddler on the Roof!

on April 7, 2017
Jan Lisa Huttner shares sixteen years of scholarly study, feminist revisionism, and personal story as she sheds light on the unknown —or ignored — facets of Fiddler on the Roof. The author writes into the future:to the Diamond Anniversary of 2039, 75 years after the Broadway debut. I thought that was a cool approach — ensuring a legacy for all those working on, acting in, and loving Fiddler. As a feminist and theatre fan, I came across her Tevye’s Daughters, which covers connections between Jane Austen ‘s Pride and Prejudice and Downton Abbey to Fiddler, all tales of many daughters in a changing world, I was excited to learn more about overlooked correlations.

And wow, did I learn — especially thrilled to find out so much more about the “forgotten feminine” in Fiddler: the historical context of the debut & lack of female reviewers, the real meaning of Yente, the parallel life of Sholem Aleichem himself as a sympathetic male, the importance of Hodel, and Huttner’s own journey fighting the male-dominated keyholders of the “Fiddler story.”

I read it then also bopped around in the different lectures and very fascinating Questions Asked and Answered. I like that it is designed to read like that: jump in any “act” of the book and enjoy! Sharon Rosenzweig’s illustrations make it fun and visually inviting too.

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