Zalmon Libin, usually known as Z. Libin (1872-1955; real name: Yisrael-Zalman Hurvits or Gurvitz), was a writer of short stories and a playwright in Yiddish theater, active around 1900.

"The O. Henry of the East Side" [Goldberg, 1918, 688] was born in Imperial Russia and emigrated to the United States in 1892.

Sol Liptzin describes his short stories as "about Jewish proletarians, grim portraits of the anguish and tears of tenement dwellers in New York's Lower East Side..." [Liptzin, 1972,82] His plays included both tragedies and comedies. Gebrokhene Hertzer (Broken Hearts, 1903) was filmed in 1926, starring Maurice Schwartz.

Isaac Goldberg, writing in 1918, was much more impressed with Libin's stories than his plays: "Although he has been mentioned as the compromiser, on the stage, between the purely literary drama and popular trash, there is altogether too little literature in the compromise. Libin makes his living from his plays; he will live through his tales." [Goldberg, 1918, 688]


  • Liptzin, Sol, A History of Yiddish Literature, Jonathan David Publishers, Middle Village, NY, 1972, ISBN 0-8246-0124-6. 81-82.
  • Goldberg, Isaac, "New York's Yiddish Writers" in The Bookman, volume 46 (684-689), Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1918.

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