From the Publisher
“One would have to be meshugah (that is, cuckoo, crazy) not to celebrate the publication of this brief tragicomic novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer.” The New York Times
“Extraordinary ... The novel's title (Yiddish for crazy) evokes Singer's pessimistic vision of the world as an insane asylum, but also conveys something of the manic energy he brings to a deceptively comic tale that distills his marvelous storytelling gifts.” Publishers Weekly
“Ever the consummate storyteller, Singer understands that there is a bit of God and the devil in everyone and that passion cannot be explained.” Library Journal
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is the late Singer's story of a love triangle among Holocaust survivors set in 1950s New York City. (Apr.)
Life certainly can be ``meshugah,'' especially when love is involved. In this third posthumously published novel, Singer explores the complications and contradictions that arise when a young Holocaust survivor named Miriam falls simultaneously in love with two older men: Aaron, a 47-year-old writer for the Forward who is seemingly patterned after Singer himself, and Max, a 67-year-old bon vivant speculator who goes bust, both financially and physically. That Max and Miriam are both married to others adds yet another twist to the situation, as does the truth about the way in which Miriam managed her survival. Ever the consummate storyteller, Singer understands that there is a bit of God and the devil in everyone and that passion cannot be explained. He also both celebrates and mourns a Yiddish culture that is rapidly vanishing. ``Who will know a generation from now how the Jews of Eastern Europe lived, how they spoke, what they ate?'' asks Max. Thanks to Singer and the finely drawn characters that inhabit his fiction, many more than would have otherwise. This typically ``Singer'' tale belongs in most libraries.-- David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.