"Good is pitted against evil in open contest when the debonair Mazel, spirit of good luck, makes a wager with the wicked old sot Shlimazel, spirit of bad luck. The story has all the traditional elements of the folk tale, enhanced by the vitality and humor of Singer's inimitable style and by the vigorous, colorful illustrations." —Saturday Review
- Judy Silverman
Singer's book was first published in 1967. But it's a timeless tale, and will never be out of date. Or out of print, it seems. The spirits Mazel (luck) and Shlimazel (bad luck) argue, just as human men do, and sometimes one wins the argument and sometimes the other does. But good overcomes evil, the good man Tam marries the princess, and the evil Kamtsan becomes a drunken beggar. A clever book, with wonderful illustrations, it can be read aloud to the youngest and enjoyed by all ages. 1995 (orig.
The great voice of the Yiddish-language tradition in modern Jewish literature, Isaac Bashevis Singer is best known for short stories (think "Yentl") with deeply Jewish roots yet universal appeal.
Isaac Bashevis Singer emigrated to New York from Poland in 1935 and found work with the Jewish Daily Forward. Author of many novels, collections of short stories, and books for children, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978.