Search Results: "Isaac Bashevis Singer"


BOOK REVIEW

PASSIONS by Isaac Bashevis Singer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 6, 1975

"Many of these stories have appeared in the New Yorker."
The seventh collection of Singer's short stories, again centered on the lives of Yiddish-speaking Polish Jews in Europe and the Americas before and after the holocaust—but here the "whims and passions" which destroy, illuminate, and possess a life, often slip into a supernatural dimension. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

JOSEPH AND KOZA by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Released: Sept. 29, 1970

"In sum, the exhibit format is unwarranted as well as impractical."
A Michelangelesque setting for a simple story of how Joseph, a goldsmith of Jerusalem, brought the word of God to Mazovia, a Polish realm on the Vistula, challenging the practice of human sacrifice, discrediting the witch Zla and the evil spirits she invokes, and gaining the love of Koza, the Chieftain's beautiful daughter who was to have been offered to the river. 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

ENEMIES, A LOVE STORY by Isaac Bashevis Singer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 26, 1972

"Enemies appeared in 1966 in The Jewish Daily Forward."
It is a measure of Singer's strength that he is able to utilize what is essentially a familiar farcical situation — a man married to three wives — to scour the empty room of one human soul pursued by the echoes of real and terrible enemies. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

OLD LOVE by Isaac Bashevis Singer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 1979

"A varied, bountiful, exuberant collection, then — and a perfect introduction for neophytes to the whole range of Singer's short-story artistry."
When do 18 very good stories add up to more than just 18 very good stories? Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

LOST IN AMERICA by Isaac Bashevis Singer
NON-FICTION
Released: June 5, 1981

"And despite the nonstop laments, this sharp, shapely memoir bounces along quite merrily—with the wicked, ironic grace of three or four overlapping Singer stories."
The Nobel Laureate continues his selective, semi-fictional memoirs—"contributions to an autobiography I never intend to write"—with a third, large-print volume illustrated by Raphael Soyer. 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

THE SEANCE AND OTHER STORIES by Isaac Bashevis Singer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 14, 1968

"Exuberant humor, a somber regard for the sacred mysteries of human destinies, and magnificent story telling."
The fourth collection of stories by the spiritual heir to Sholom Aleichem, unique in their variety of approach and emotional scope. 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 >

BOOK REVIEW

MESHUGAN by Isaac Bashevis Singer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1994

"Manna for his following, who know that wherever Singer touched pen to paper there sprang up a village — of ghosts, of survivors, of all of us."
The late Nobelist's third posthumously published novel (after Scum and The Certificate) was serialized (1981-83) in Yiddish in the Forward newspaper and was titled Lost Souls. Read full book review >