Chaim Grade was one of the greatest Jewish writers of modern times. He was the author of, among many other works, the short story “My Quarrel with Hersh Rasseyner,” the text from which Mosaic’s 2020 year-end dramatic reading was adapted. He was also married to Inna Grade, a fiercely protective woman who, Andrew Silow-Carroll reports, described Isaac Bashevis Singer “as a ‘blasphemous buffoon’ whose fame and reputation, she was convinced, came at the expense of her husband’s.”
in Yiddish literary circles, her protectiveness of one of the 20th century’s most important Yiddish writers was serious business: Because Inna Grade kept such a tight hold on her late husband’s papers . . . a generation of scholars was thwarted in taking his true measure.
Those papers are now finally available thanks to the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. As Silas-Carroll writes, “This week YIVO and the NLI will announce the completion of the digitization of “The Papers of Chaim Grade and Inna Hecker Grade,” making the entire archive publicly accessible online.” And as the director of YIVO puts it, “this is probably the single most important literary acquisition in YIVO’s postwar history.”