A FRIEND OF KAFKA by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Kirkus Star

A FRIEND OF KAFKA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The fifth--and quite possibly the most impressive--collection of Singer's richly crafted tales of Polish ghetto life and curious transmogrifications--from upper Broadway to South America and Europe. Again the loners--tortured rabbis, daredevil heretics, women with outsized yearnings, victims of savage fates--cast the stones that set communities rippling. But in exile the husks of lives still contain ghosts, as rudely, shockingly and mockingly persistent as the demons, dybbuks and evil beings whose exploits chilled the hours of study-hall story telling. A lonely woman appears like a phantom, vainly in love with love, and joins the dead, ultimately, along Broadway; a hoodwinked scholar from abroad, in his coffin, finally turns the joke on his pranksters. And throughout old people rustle with memories and presentiments. In one of the most affecting stories, "The Pigeons," a gentle old Jewish professor dies in Warsaw and a flight of birds above his cortege presage as well as mourn the coming holocaust. Here Singer merges fact, fantasy and folklore in a moment of dreadful congruence. These stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Commentary, Harper's, etc. A seasoned talent which seems to sharpen with the years.
Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1979
ISBN: 0374515387
Page count: 322pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1970




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