Search Results: "Isaac Bashevis Singer"


BOOK REVIEW

ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER by Lila Perl
BIOGRAPHY
Released: March 1, 1994

"Index not seen. (Biography. 10-14)"
Singer's despair over the dying Yiddish language resonates through this brief biography. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER by Janet Hadda
NON-FICTION
Released: April 1, 1997

"There, Singer comes off as far more human and complex than the cantankerous, cardboard character who emerges here. (17 photos, not seen)"
An analytical, unsympathetic portrait of the Nobel Prizewinning Yiddish writer. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE COLLECTED STORIES OF ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER by Isaac Bashevis Singer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 8, 1982

"So, with its brief, sly yet tender introduction (the collection is dedicated to the memory of editor Rachel MacKenzie), this will draw in Singer devotees for repeat readings; and it is an essential acquisition, of course, wherever those previous collections are not available."
Forty-seven stories from Singer's 100-plus canon would more appropriately be called "Selected Stories" than "The Collected Stories"—but, if slightly mislabeled, this splendid gathering does indeed embrace the ever-surprising variety of Singer's steady short-story artistry over the past 30 years. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

JOURNEY TO MY FATHER, ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER by Israel Zamir
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"Must reading for fans of the master Yiddishist. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A revealing profile of the Nobel laureate in literature by his son and only child. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE KING OF THE FIELDS by Isaac Bashevis Singer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 10, 1988

"And, simply as storytelling, this may be the weakest work of Singer's career: uninvolving, clumsily prosaic, more reminiscent of a bad-imitation Clan of the Cave Bear than anything in the Nobel Prize-winner's beguiling canon."
Singer's first novel in five years touches on many of his recurring themes (lust vs. reason, paganism vs. civilization, women as she-devils) but in a strange, largely unconvincing context: pre-medieval, primitive Poland, where assorted pagan tribes fight for control of rural neighborhoods, at odds over (among other things) whether to live by hunting or farming. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

Released: Oct. 20, 1981

"Like the others, it's a testament of faith—'Nothing but a miracle could have saved him, so a miracle occurred'—but without the ironies, the fabulous imaginings, the fingertip observations of Singer at his best."
Only now and again in these eight stories is the Singer stamp evident—in the appearance of a Yiddish-speaking parakeet at a Brooklyn window one frosty Hannukkah evening, in the eerie extinction of the Hanukkah candles at the same moment in every house in long-ago Bilgoray, on each of the holiday's first seven nights. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

SHOSHA by Isaac Bashevis Singer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 12, 1978

"We miss the vividness, the claustrophobia of superior Singer; indubitably, upsettingly true, the story seems capped—and handicapped—with Destiny."
The threat of Nazi occupation throws a fence up around this story of Jewish Warsaw in the Thirties, locking it into patterns of blind dailyness and a sweet, enduring, ultimately fatal foolishness: "so long as Hitler didn't attack, so long as no revolution or pogrom erupted, each day was a gift from God." Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE WICKED CITY by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Released: March 15, 1972

"Altogether, this is no more outrageous a violation than, say, Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales, but Singer's uneasy blend of the mythic and the colloquial make it hard to swallow whole, even with all those grains of salt."
The cautionary chronicle of Lot, elaborately embroidered: his sojourn in Sodom, his nick-of-time escape aided by Abraham and the two angels, his wife's well-known transformation, and his subsequent stay in the desert with his two daughters who "found a cave. . . and lived like savages. . . in filth and sin." Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

IN MY FATHER'S COURT by Isaac Bashevis Singer
NON-FICTION
Released: May 2, 1966

"Effortlessness is a quality of Singer's writing, as is its endemic richness- and the rightness for its material, and it reads with as much ease as it appears to be written."
Isaac Bashevis Singer's recollections of No. 10 Korochmalna Street in Warsaw where his father officiated as a rabbi and took on the legal duties of that estate, offers him ample opportunity to give scope to his portrayal of ghetto characters. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

GIMPEL THE FOOL by Isaac Bashevis Singer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 21, 1957

"Various translators have kept the simplicity and native characteristics of the stories which, in their sly mirroring of human frailties and their compassion for man's attempts to be strong, have a universal note."
Twelve short stories stem from Jewish life in Poland and, while most have a folk-legend quality, there are a few which have a contemporary setting. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE IMAGE AND OTHER STORIES by Isaac Bashevis Singer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1985

"Less comic, varied, and compelling than the best Singer collections, then, with only fleeting glimpses of the Writers' Club and the 'literary cafeteria'—but a generous, vigorous gathering nonetheless."
Unlike Old Love (1979), which offered a perfectly balanced mixture of Singer's Old World (passionate, mystical) and his autobiographical New World (comic, whimsical), this new story collection is weighted heavily—and a little monotonically—toward Old World tales of wayward lust, doomed triangles, and tortured sinners. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE PENITENT by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Released: Sept. 30, 1983

"And, though Singer's storytelling genius isn't totally absent from this slight, linear tale, it's primarily for students of his work-and-thought—while much of his usual readership will find it merely puzzling or off-putting."
It's unsurprising that Singer's new novel, originally published in Yiddish (Der Baal-Tshuve) in 1974, was not quickly offered in English translation: this is the Nobel winner's thinnest, most didactic fiction by far, with strident views (not expressed by IBS directly, it's true) that might warm the hearts of Jerry Falwell & Co. as well as those of Jews opposed to assimilation. Read full book review >