The fiftieth anniversary of a lost classica deceptively sophisticated tale of sexual compulsion and one man's flight from love
Yasha Mazur is a Houdini-like performer whose skill has made him famous throughout eastern Poland. Half Jewish, half Gentile, a freethinker who slips easily between worlds, Yasha has an observant Jewish wife, a Gentile assistant who travels with him, and a mistress in every town. For Yasha is an escape artist not only onstage but in life, a man who lives under the spell of his own hypnotic effect on women. Now, though, his exploits are catching up with him, and he is tempted to make one final escapefrom his wife and his homeland and the last tendrils of his father's religion.
Set in Warsaw and the shtetls of the 1870sbut first published in 1960Isaac Bashevis Singer's second novel hides a haunting psychological portrait inside a beguiling parable. At its heart, this is a book about the burden of sexual freedom. As such, it belongs on a small shelf with such mid-century classics as Rabbit, Run; The Adventures of Augie March; and The Moviegoer. As Milton Hindus wrote in The New York Times Book Review, "The pathos of the ending may move the reader to tears, but they are not sentimental tears . . . [Singer] is a writer of far greater than ordinary powers."
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
About the Author
Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904–91) was the author of many novels, stories, children's books, and memoirs. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978.
Date of Birth:July 14, 1904
Date of Death:July 24, 1991
Place of Birth:Radzymin, Poland
Place of Death:Surfside, Florida
Education:Attended Tachkemoni Rabbinical Seminary in Warsaw, Poland, 1920-27