Isaac Bashevis Singer: An Album

Overview

"The seventh American and sole Yiddish writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, Isaac Bashevis Singer was born in Poland and immigrated to the United States in 1935 at age 30. Although he lived in Manhattan for more than 50 years and set many of his stories there, he wrote virtually all his work in Yiddish, participated fully in translating - and often simultaneously revising - the tales and novels that were to make him famous among American readers. Drawing on East European Jewish folk memory and mystical tradition, his writing merged ...
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Overview

"The seventh American and sole Yiddish writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, Isaac Bashevis Singer was born in Poland and immigrated to the United States in 1935 at age 30. Although he lived in Manhattan for more than 50 years and set many of his stories there, he wrote virtually all his work in Yiddish, participated fully in translating - and often simultaneously revising - the tales and novels that were to make him famous among American readers. Drawing on East European Jewish folk memory and mystical tradition, his writing merged Old World demons and modern apartments, the faith of the European shtetl and the worldliness of postwar America." "Singer first captured the attention of mainstream American critics and readers when Saul Bellow translated "Gimpel the Fool" in 1953, and in the following years his fiction would appear in such popular magazines as Harper's, The New Yorker, and Playboy, and in a series of novels and remarkable story collections. As Singer became a well-known public figure - the living embodiment, for many American readers, of a vanished culture - his work was adapted for the screen: the story "Yentl the Yeshiva Boy" as a feature film starring Barbra Streisand and the novel Enemies, A Love Story as a film by Paul Mazursky. In his later years he also turned to children's books, such as the Newberry Award-winning Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories, illustrated by Maurice Sendak." With more than 60 black-and-white and 20 full-color illustrations, Singer: An Album is a reliable guide to the complex, multifaced life and successful career of one of America's greatest storytellers. James Gibbons' commentary relates what is known about Singer's life and helps the reader put Singer's stories in an accurate and carefully documented context. Both new and longtime fans of Singer will find that the information about his years in Warsaw and Bilgoray and his adventure on the beaches of Coney Island and the streets of Manhattan deepens the
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931082648
  • Publisher: Library of America, The
  • Publication date: 7/28/2004
  • Series: Library of America Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.24 (w) x 8.16 (h) x 0.47 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2004

    A pleasurable work

    This is a pleasant volume. It has pictures of Singer at various stages and in the various settings of his life.It is a tribute volume for his one- hundredth birthday. It also has discussions of his work, and reconsiderations by a variety of well- known authors. Only one of these that of Joyce Carol Oates really touched upon and it seems to me felt deeply the genius of Singer. Singer in my judgment is one of the great storytellers of all time. He has a tremendous ability at creating character .His language is filled with life, and has direct driving energy as his work does as a whole. This present book is a good supplementary work for anyone who wishes to fill out their picture of Singer as a man, and as a writer. But it is not a deep work in any way .For instance it touches upon Singer's relations with his son, and indicates that they were problematic. They in fact also involved a very special kind of communication established in Singer's later years. The book by the way says little about Singer's relationship with his wife of many years, Alma. In other words it does not begin to do the work of a real biography. And a writer of Singer's stature is truly worth that. Except for the King James Translation of the Bible I cannot really think of any great work written by a committee . This work which has many distinguished participants it seems to me does less than one serious study by one author who deepened in some aspect of Singer's life would do. Nonethleless an enjoyable, easy read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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