Adult Fiction


"I believe that Singer, in his short and humorous tales drawn from an old tradition, celebrates the dignity, mystery, and unexpected joy of living with more art and fervor than any other writer alive." Peter Prescott, Newsweek


An Isaac Bashevis Singer Reader

An Isaac Bashevis Singer Reader
A collection of short stories by Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, the most widely known and possibly the last of the great Yiddish-language novelists and short-story writers.

These rich tales entice the reader into an enchanted world of demons, imps, and other magical creatures living side-by-side ordinary shopkeepers, rabbis, husbands, wives, and other country folk.

Table of Contents:

Gimpel the Fool
The Mirror
The Unseen
The Spinoza of Market Street
The Black Wedding
The Man Who Came Back
Short Friday
Yentl the Yeshiva Boy
Blood
The Fast
The Se´ance
The Slaughterer
The Lecture
Getzel the Monkey
A Friend of Kafka
My father's friend
Dreamers
A Wedding
Had He been a Kohen
The Magician of Lublin

Certificate, The

Certificate, The
Image courtesy of Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux:

David Bendiner, a young writer and secularized Jew, has qualified to emigrate from Warsaw to Palestine, but he's broke, and in order to make the journey, he must enter into a fictitious marriage with a prosperous woman eager to get there. Grappling with romantic, political and philosophical turmoil, David must also confront his faith when his father, an Orthodox rabbi, shows up in Warsaw.

Collected Stories, Vol. I: Gimpel the Fool to The Letter Writer

Collected Stories, Vol. I:  Gimpel the Fool to The Letter Writer
In this volume, the stories show the author’s parable of probity and goodness, “Gimpel the Fool”, as well as the disturbing supernatural tales that explore irrational undercurrents of human personality and collective life.

Also included are several stories later adapted for the stage and screen, such as “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy”, “Taibele and Her Demon”, and “The Mirror”.

“Singer casts a spell,” writes Joyce Carol Oates. “Open one of his books anywhere, the words leap out with a power that would seem to us demonic if it were not, at the very same time, so utterly plausible.”

Table of Contents:

Gimpel the Fool
The Gentleman from Cracow
The Wife Killer
By the Light of Memorial Candles
The Mirror
The Little Shoemakers
Joy
From the Diary of One not Born
The Old Man
Fire
The Unseen
The Spinoza of Market Street
The Black Wedding
A Take of Two Liars
The Shadow of a Crib
Shiddah and Kuziba
Caricature
The Beggar Said So
The Man Who Came Back
A Piece of Advice
In the Poorhouse
The Destruction of Kreshev
Taibele and Her Demon
Big and Little
Blood
Alone
Esther Kreindel the Second
Jachid and Jechidah
Under the Kife
The Fast
The Lst Demon
Yentl the Yeshiva Boy
Three Tales
Zeidlus the Pope
A Wedding in Brownsville
I Place My Reliance on No Man
Cunegunde
Short Friday
The Séance
The Slaghterer
The Dead fiddler
The Lecture
Cockadoodledoo
The Plagiarist
Zeitl and Rickel
The Warehouse
Henne Fire
Getzel the Monkey
Yanda
The Needle
Two Corpses Go Dancing
The Parrot
The Brooch
The Letter Writer

Collected Stories Vol. II: A Friend of Kafka to Passions

Collected Stories Vol. II:  A Friend of Kafka to Passions
In this volume, the stories gathered here show the author striving or and often achieving such perfection, creafting tales that fuse crystalline storytelling with an unnerving esploration of erotic passion and irrational desire, family life and religious piety, and fundamental emotions shuch as shame, list, anger, pride, and tenderness.

Table of Contents:

A Firend of Kafka
Guests on a Winter Night
The Key
Dr. Beeber
Stories from Behind the Stove
The Cafeteria
The Mentor
Pigeons
The Chimney Sweep
The Riddle
Altele
The Joke
The Primper
Schloimele
The Colony
The Blasphemer
The Wager
The Son
Fate
Powers
Something is There
A Crown of Feathers
A Day in Coney Island
The Captive
The Blizzard
Property
The Lantuch
The Son from America
The Briefcase
The Cabalist of East Broadway
The Bishop’s Robe
A Quotation from Klopstock
The Magazine
Lost
The Prodigy
The Third One
The Recluse
A Dance and a Hop
Her Son
The Egotist
The Beard
The Dance
On a Wagon
Neighbors
Grandfather and Grandson
Hanka
Old love
Errors
The admirer
Sabbath in Portugal
The yearning heifer
The witch
Sam Palka and David Vishkover
A tutor in the village
The new year party
A tale of two sisters
A pair
The fatalist
Two markets
The gravedigger
The sorcerer
Moishele
Three encounters
The adventure
Passions

Collected Stories Vol. III: One Night in Brazil to Death of Methuselah

Collected Stories Vol. III:  One Night in Brazil to Death of Methuselah
Presents a collection of short stories, including "Brother Beetle" and "The Jew from Babylon" along with ten previously unpublished stories.

Table of Contents:

One Night in Brazil
Yochna and Shmelke
Two
The Psychic Journey
Elka and Meier
A Party in Miami Beach
Two Weddings and One Divorce
A Cage for Satan
Brother Beetle
The Boy Knows the Truth
There are no Coincidences
Not for the Sabbath
The Safe Deposit
The Betrayer of Israel
Tanhum
The Manuscript
The Power of Darkness
The Bus
A Night in the Poorhouse
Escape from civilization
Vanvild Kava
The Reencounter
Moon and Madness
Advice
One Day of Happiness
The Bond
The Interview
The Divorce
Strong as Death is Love
Why Heisherik was Born
The Enemy
Remnants
On the Way to the Poorhouse
Loshikl
The Pocket Remembered
The Secret
A Nest Egg for Paradise
The Conference
Miracles
The Litigants
A Telephone Call on Yom Kippur
Strangers
The Mistake
Confused
The Image
The Trap
The Smuggler
Gifts
The Jew from Babylon
The House Friend
Burial at Sea
The Recluse
Disguised
The Accuser and the Accused
A Peephole in the Gate
The Bitter Truth
The Impresario
Logarithms
Runners to Nowhere
The Missing Line
The Hotel
Dazzled
Sabbath in Gehenna
The Last Gaze
The Death of Methuselah
The Bird
My Adventures as an Idealist
Exes
Between Shadows
Hershele and Hanele, or the Power of a Dream
Pity
The Angry Man
The Mathematician
The Building Project
The Painting
Morris and Timna
Two
Eulogy to a Shoelace

The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer

The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer
The forty-seven stories in this collection, selected by Singer himself out of nearly one hundred and fifty, range from the publication of his now-classic first collection, Gimpel the Fool, in 1957, until 1981. They include supernatural tales, slices of life from Warsaw and the shtetls of Eastern Europe, and stories of the Jews displaced from that world to the New World, from the East Side of New York to California and Miami

Table of Contents:

Gimpel the Fool
The Gentleman from Cracow
Joy
The Little Shoemakers
The Unseen
The Spinoza of Market Street
The Destruction of Kreshev
Taibele and her Demon
Alone
Yentl the Yeshiva Boy
Zeidlus the Pope
The Last Demon
Short Friday
The Se´ance
The Slaughterer
The Dead Fiddler
Henne Fire
The Letter Writer
A Friend of Kafka
The Cafeteria
The Joke
Powers
Something is There
A Crown of Feathers
A Day in Coney Island
The Cabalist of East Broadway
A Quotation from Klopstock
A Dance and a Hop
Grandfather and Grandson
Old Love
The Admirer
The Yearning Heifer
A Tale of Two Sisters
Three Encounters
Passions
Brother Beetle
The Betrayer of Israel
The Psychic Journey
The Manuscript
The Power of Darkness
The Bus
A Night in the Poorhouse
Escape from Civilization
Vanvild Kava
The Reencounter
Neighbors
Moon and Madness

Crown of Feathers

Crown of Feathers
"If there is such a thing as truth," Mr. Singer writes at the end of the title story in this book, "it is as intricate and hidden as a crown of feathers." The difficulty of getting at the truth about individuals and events is a central theme of this new collection, one of the longest and best the author has published.

There are twenty-four stories in all, more than half of them with settings in America or with American characters. In "The Cabalist of East Broadway," Mr. Singer suggests that man does not live according to reason. "A Day in Coney Island," recounting the narrator's first year in New York, presents a familiar place in an entirely new guise. What is the truth of "The Third One?" The reader must decide whether it is, or is not, about homosexuality. In "The Egotist" it's strange truth the author reveals about elderly Kerenskyites marooned in New York.

"The Briefcase" depicts the miseries and surprises of the American university lecture tour. "The Bishop's Robe" concerns an occult group in California that tries to transcend religious differences. Three sisters who have problems getting married find out that life is merely "A Dance and a Hop," in the story bearing that title. 'The Captive," the story of a talented artist whose reputation is assumed by a forger, ends with a ouija board. The hero of "A Quotation from Klopstock" has a rendezvous not only with his mistress but with death. The generation gap has fantastic political and psychological implications in "Grandfather and Grandson." The fourteen remaining stories, from "The Blizzard" and "The Lantuch" to "The Son from America" and "Lost" explore other surprising aspects of the book's central theme.

"I regard Isaac Bashevis singer as the greatest writer of today," Rebecca West said in a review. And the late Edmund Wilson recommended Singer for the Nobel Prize as "the highest representative of a culture which stems straight from the sacred books upon which we have all been brought up."

“The singular thing about these stories…is that they speak with one voice—clear, direct, and uncolored, the cozy drone of a natural storyteller…They are unusually fine stories. They take joy in paradox…an they’re often tragic byt never sad…Singer is one of our best storytellers—‘our’ meaning everybody.”
~Crawford Woods, The New Republic

“I believe that Singer, in his short and humorous tales drawn from and old tradition, celebrates the dignity, mystery, and unexpected joy of living with more art and fervor than any other writer alive.”
~Peter Prescott, Newsweek

Table of Contents:

A Crown of Feathers
A Day in Coney Island
The Captive
The Blizzard
Property
The Lantuch
The Son from America
The Briefcase
The Cabalist of East Broadway
The Bishop’s Robe
A Quotation from Klopstock
The Magazine
Lost
The Prodigy
The Third One
The Recluse
A Dance and a Hop
Her Son
The Egotist
The Beard
The Dance
On a Wagon
Neighbors
Grandfather and Grandson

Death of Methusela and Other Stories

Death of Methusela and Other Stories
Twenty stories from the Nobel Prizewinner, including "Disguised," a transvestite tale of the yeshiva student whose deserted wife finds him dressed as a woman and married to a man, and the title story, which portrays Methuselah at the age of 969 -- "and when you pass your nine hundredth birthday, you are not what you used to be."

Once again, Singer demonstrates his sparkling expertise in his treatment of Jewish folklore and legend.

Table of Contents:

The Jew from Babylon
The House Friend
Burial at Sea
The Recluse
Disguised
The Accuser and the Accused
The Trap
The Smuggler
A Peephole in the Gate
The Bitter Truth
The Impresario
Logarithms
Gifts
Runners to Nowhere
The Missing Line
The Hotel
Dazzled
Sabbath in Gehenna
The Last Gaze
The Death of Methuselah

Enemies, A Love Story

Enemies, A Love Story
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"One is forever suspended between laughter and tears by this rich and marvelous novel."

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt The New York Times

Almost before he knows it, Herman Broder, refugee and survivor of World War II, has three wives; Yadwiga, the Polish peasant who hid him from the Nazis; Masha, his beautiful and neurotic true love; and Tamara, his first wife, miraculously returned from the dead. Astonished by each new complication, and yet resigned to a life of evasion, Herman navigates a crowded, Yiddish New York with a sense of perpetually impending doom. The first of Singer's novels to be set in America, ENEMIES, A LOVE STORY tells an unexpected and moving tale.

"Isaac Bashevis Singer is a rare pleasure,a literary genius." San Francisco Chronicle

"Singer writes with a love and passion unequaled in contemporary fiction." The Washington Post Book World




Estate, The

Estate, The
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Portrays the difficulties encountered by traditionalist Jews coming to terms with the convulsive social changes that rocked Poland in the late 19th-century.

A torrential story of unforgettably vivid men and women in a time of swirling chaos and dramatic change. Only Singer can handle so deftly this complex and dramatic story.

Family Moskat, The

Family Moskat, The
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Amazon.com:

The vanished way of life of Eastern European Jews in the early part of the twentieth century is the subject of this extraordinary novel. All the strata of this complex society were populated by powerfully individual personalities, and the whole community pulsated with life and vitality. The affairs of the patriarchal Meshulam Moskat and the unworldly Asa Heshel Bannet provide the center of the book, but its real focus is the civilization that was destroyed forever in the gas chambers of the Second World War.

Friend of Kafka

Friend of Kafka
This book of twenty stories is Isaac Bashevis Singer's fifth collection and contains such classics as "The Cafeteria" and "On the Way to the Poorhouse.

Table of Contents:

A Friend of Kafka
Guests on a Winter Night
The Key
Dr. Beeber
Stories from Behind the Stove
The Cafeteria
The Mentor
Pigeons
The Chimney Sweep
The Riddle
Altele
The Joke
The Primper
Schloimele
The Colony
The Blasphemer
The Wager
The Son
Fate
Powers
Something is There

Gifts and Other Stories

Gifts and Other Stories
Seven stories that follow memorable characters in thought provoking circumstances. These stories help us see our own situations with more clarity.

Table of Contents:

The Trap
The Pocket Remembered
The Smuggler
The Secret
A Nest Egg for Paradise
Gifts
Matones

Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories

Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories
Isaac Bashevis Singer’s first collection of stories, Gimpel the Fool, is a landmark work that has attracted international acclaim since it was first published in 1957. In Saul Bellow’s masterly translation, the title story follows the exploits of Gimpel, an ingenuous baker who is universally deceived but who declines to retaliate against his tormentors. Gimpel and the protagonists of the other stories in this volume all inhabit the distinctive pre–World War II ghettos of Poland and, beyond that, the larger world created by Singer’s unforgettable prose.

Table of Contents:

Gimpel the Fool
The Gentleman from Cracow
The Wife Killer
By the Light of Memorial Candles
The Mirror
The Little Shoemakers
Joy
From the Diary of One not Born
The Old Man
Fire
The Unseen

The Image and Other Stories

The Image and Other Stories
THE IMAGE is a collection of twenty-two entertaining stories that range in time from the old days in Warsaw to recent years in America. The title story is haunted by a unique love that falls like a shadow between a newly married couple.

Table of Contents:

Advice
One day of Happiness
The Bond
The Interview
The Divorce
Strong as Death is Love
Why Heisherik was Born
The Enemy
Remnants
On the Way to the Poorhouse
Loshikl
The Pocket Remembered
The Secret
A Nest Egg for Paradise
The Conference
Miracles
The Litigants
A Telephone Call on Yom Kippur
Strangers
The Mistake
Confused
The Image

King of the Fields, The

King of the Fields, The
Image courtesy of Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
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Isaac Bashevis Singer's novel portrays an age of superstition and violence in a country emerging from savagery. In this primitive era the people of the valley of the Vistula are called Poles because in their language pola means field. They are terrorized by bands of looters and killers under the "red king" Krol Rudy, but their leader, Cybula, whose daughter is take by Krol Rudy for his wife, persuades them to submit to coexistence in order to survive and plant the fields.

When he is sent on a long journey with the trusted counselor Nosek, Cybula discovers that a civilized world exist elsewhere. Changed by the experience, he brings back to the camp Ben Dosa, a Babylonian Jew, and a female slave, Kusoka. Despite Ben Dosa's attempts to teach reading and writing, the people persist in their savage customs, including human sacrifice. The lustful and insatiable Kora, whose daughter Yagoda is now Cybula's wife, leads a feminist uprising against the invaders. She crowns Cybula, with whom she is sexually obsessed, as the new king of the fields. The arrival of a blond stranger and his retinue-he is a bishop determined to convert the poles-announces the beginning of a new era.

The King of the Fields is a fictional exploration of primitive history, presenting and imaginative spectacle of human perversity versus human aspirations. Whether one reads it as a gloss on modern civilization or as an unusual historical novel, it reaffirms the author's well-earned reputation as a master storyteller. "Singer is a writer in the great tradition," according the New York Times. "A true and important literary artist lives among us."

Magician of Lublin, The

Magician of Lublin, The
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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 escape-from his wife and his homeland and the last tendrils of his father's religion.

Manor, The

Manor, The
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Amazon.com:

This novel portrays the difficulties encountered by traditionalist Jews coming to terms with the social changes that rocked Poland in the late 19th century. The central figure of the novel is Calman Jacoby, who stands between the old and the new, unable to embrace either whole-heartedly.

Meshugah

Meshugah
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Meshugah, a newly discovered novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer, is an impressive work which the author published serially in 1981-83. It is the story of Holocaust survivors in New York in the early 1950s, and its narrator is Aaron Greidinger, forty-seven, a writer for the Forward who is just beginning to receive recognition for his stories and his Sunday radio talks. He finds himself inextricably involved with a group of refugees on the Upper West Side after Max Aberdam of Warsaw, a "ghost" whom he had long thought dead, walks into his newspaper office.

Aaron learns that Miriam, an attractive woman of twenty-seven who has survived the Nazi camps, is in love with sixty-seven-year-old Max. But she confesses to Aaron that she loves him as much as she loves Max, and has no intention of giving up either man. This strange situation has additional complications--Miriam has a young husband, and American poet she despises, and Max has a wife he will never divorce. Though Aaron upbraids himself for continuing to see Miriam, he cannot stop. He encounters colorful types--such as Miriam's rich lesbian employer; a steam of disturbed advice-seekers who come to his office; old flames like Stefa and Irka, and a new one, Tzlova; and Misha, landsman and anarchist taxi driver. But not until the trio of Max-Miriam-Aaron reunites in Tel Aviv (where Aaron receives his first literary prize) does he learn the full truth about Miriam's past.

While Meshugah seems to develop like a comedy, it is a serious and extraordinary novel. Co-translator Nili Wachtel says the author wanted to write a novel about a young woman simultaneously in love with an old and a middle-aged man--in Singer's words, "a strange situation, with lots of promise." The bizarre twists and turns of the story, as well as the unusual characters, confirm once more the author's reputation as a master storyteller.

Old Love and Other Stories

Old Love and Other Stories
This classic collection explores the varieties of wisdom gained with age and especially those that teach us how to love, as 'in love the young are just beginners and the art of loving matures with age and experience'. Tales of curious marriages and divorce mingle with psychic experiences and curses, acts of bravery and loneliness, love and hatred.

Table of Contents:

One Night in Brazil
Yochna and Shmelke
Two
The Psychic Journey
Elka and Meier
A Party in Miami Beach
Two Weddings and One Divorce
A Cage for Satan
Brother Beetle
The Boy Knows the Truth
There are no Coincidences
Not for the Sabbath
The Safe Deposit
The Betrayer of Israel
Tanhum
The Manuscript
The Power of Darkness
The Bus

Passions and Other Stories

Passions and Other Stories
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Amazon.com:

'Through the twenty stories Singer continues to evolve his characters with the sustained scrutiny of kinship and a candlelit intimacy. Physical presences, speech and circumstances flicker into being as sharply as that cosmic instant in each tale.'
--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Table of Contents:

Hanka
Old love
Errors
The admirer
Sabbath in Portugal
The yearning heifer
The witch
Sam Palka and David Vishkover
A tutor in the village
The new year party
A tale of two sisters
A pair
The fatalist
Two markets
The gravedigger
The sorcerer
Moishele
Three encounters
The adventure
Passions

Penitent, The

Penitent, The
Image courtesy of Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Fararr, Straus, & Giroux:

The Penitent tells the story of Jospeh Shapiro, his rapid climb to prosperity, his quick plunge into promiscuity, and his subsequent flight to Israel in order to find salvation.

Satan in Goray

Satan in Goray
Image courtesy of Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
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As messianic zeal sweeps through medieval Poland, the Jews of Goray divide between those who, like the Rabbi, insist that no one can "force the end" and those who follow the messianic pretender Sabbatai Zevi. But as hysteria and depravity increase, it becomes clear that it is not the Messiah who has come to Goray.

With a new introduction by Ruth Wisse, Professor of Yiddish Literature and of Comparative Literature at Harvard University, this edition of Singer's earliest novel is an essential addition to every reader's collection.

"A remarkable book, brilliant, enigmatic, it deserves the attention of anyone interested in modern literature.... A work of imagination which neither permits nor requires easy statements" ~Irving Howe

Scum

Scum
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It is 1906. The death of his seventeen-year-old son, Arturo, has disrupted the life of Max Barabander in Buenos Aires, sending him back to his roots in Warsaw, while his wife stays in South America. Having attained wealth and respectability after a youth of poverty and a prison hitch in Warsaw for theft, Max revisits scenes of the past in the thieves' quarter near Krochmalna Street, finding congenial underworld company.

His fear of impotence at forty-seven drives Max to a mindless pursuit of sex. He becomes involved with five very different women, and is especially attracted to Tsirele, the beautiful daughter of a saintly rabbi. He entices her with the prospect of marriage and modernity, after falsely informing her family that he has lost his wife as well as his son. His sexual success with Reyzl Kork, mistress of a local gang-leader, leads Reyzl to scheme against Max for her own ends. The three other women--Esther, the baker's wife; Basha, a servant-girl seeking release from domestic slavery; and Theresa, a young medium who is the unwilling mistress of an aging mystic--see Max as a means of escape from their drab lives. Unable to tolerate even a few hours' loneliness, Max turns from one to the other in his frantic search for sexual salvation. Visiting his old haunts reminds him of his early religious upbringing and he begins to fear the rabbi will put a curse on him for evil behavior. As his spiritual disorder accelerates, he is finally driven to violence.

Isaac Bashevis Singer evokes the teeming life of bygone Jewish Warsaw, not only its people but its streets, customs, smells, tastes, and speech. Scum-written several years after In My Father's Court, which depicted a rabbinical island of moral order--exposes the underside of Krochmalna Street. A novel whose theme foreshadows this century's rapidly changing mores and loss of ethical values, Scum is another impressive example of the extraordinary talent of a master storyteller.

Click here to read the New York Times review.

The Séance and Other Stories

The Séance and Other Stories
“This collection of stories combines a rich and real past with mystical and occult states, the spiritual and the sexual, the grotesque and the mundane, the supernatural and the ordinary.

The mysterious is the extension of reality into another realm. The inexplicable may also be the comprehensible. Mr. Singer does not apologize or defend the mysterious. It is enough that his people experience it. But the details and the course of these tales are not enough. They always mean something more, even if the precise meaning is elusive. Mr. Singer starts less with character or even situations than with a point of view. He is really a maker of parables.

The most earthly story has a heavenly point. That is why even the slimmest of his sketches suggests something larger than itself and the best of the tales (both kinds are included) have such powers of suggestion that the reader stops to think back on what he has read or returns to catch a phrase or passage he had slighted in passing.

It's a game in a way and Mr. Singer is among the most playful of contemporary novelists. What prevents this quality from becoming tedious or mannered is the recognizable reality he brings to his fiction and the literary inventiveness that is always ready to supply an aphorism, a learned aside, a thought worth pondering.”
~From a review by Thomas Lask in the New York Times, November 9, 1968

"Exuberant humor, a somber regard for the sacred mysteries of human destinies, and magnificent story telling."
--Kirkus Reviews


Table of Contents:

The Séance
The Slaughterer
The Dead fiddler
The Lecture
Cockadoodledoo
The Plagiarist
Zeitl and Rickel
The Warehouse
Henne Fire
Getzel the Monkey
Yanda
The Needle
Two Corpses Go Dancing
The Parrot
The Brooch
The Letter Writer

Selected Short Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer

Selected Short Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer
This collection offers irrefutable evidence of Singer’s mastery as a storyteller.

Table of Contents:

Gentleman from Cracow
Wife Killer
Mirror
Little Shoemakers
Old Man
Unseen
Spinoza of Market Street
Black Wedding
Tale of Two Liars
Beggar Said So
Man Who Came Back
In the Poorhouse
Taibele and Her Demon
Blood
Esther Kreindel the Second
Fast
Last Demon
Alone
Three Tales
Zeidlus the Pope
I Place my Reliance on No Man
Short Friday

Shadows on the Hudson

Shadows on the Hudson
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Set in New York in the late forties, Shadows on the Hudson presents the intertwined lives of a group of prosperous Jewish refugees. Boris Makaver is the center of the circle, a pious and wealthy businessman. His greatest trial is his daughter, Anna, unlucky in her choice of husbands. Married first to Yasha Kotik, a lunatic actor, and then to a hapless, unemployed attorney, she plans to escape with Hertz Grein, a man torn between ascetic yearnings and romantic entanglements. Amid family quarrels and religious debates, marriages of love and convenience are attempted and abandoned, lovers separate, and spouses die or even manage to return from the dead.

From the gloomy Upper West Side apartment of Boris Makaver to the pastel resorts of Miami, Singer covers the territory of American Jewry in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Though mystical and religious answers to life's enigmas are fervently sought, there is an underlying pessimism about humankind's behavior. It is manifested in crooked séances, the theatrical trickeries of Yasha Kotik, and the disparate quality of Grein's penitence. This darkest of Singer's great tragicomic novels was serialized in the Forward in the fifties. Now finally published in English translation, it is revealed to be one of Singer's major works.

Short Friday and Other Stories

Short Friday and Other Stories
A collection of short stories by a profoundly gifted writer who can deftly immerse the reader in a rich sensory experience of bygone days. One moment the reader has goosebumps, the next moment her heart is inspired to the heights of human inspiration.

Table of Contents:

Taibele and Her Demon
Big and Little
Blood
Alone
Esther Kreindel the Second
Jachid and Jechidah
Under the Knife
The Fast
The Last Demon
Yentl the Yeshiva Boy
Three Tales
Zeidlus the Pope
A Wedding in Brownsville
I Place My Reliance on No Man
Cunegunde
Short Friday

Shosha

Shosha
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In Shosha Singer describes this novel as "a story of a few unique characters in unique circumstances"--the background being the 1930s in Warsaw, the years of Hitler's rise to power. The characters are the narrator, Aaron Greidinger, familiarly known as Tsutsik, an aspiring young writer, and his circle of bohemian friends. Chief among them is Dr. Morris Feitelzohn, a member of the Writers' Club who, just when Tsutsik's life has reached its lowest point, introduces him to a rich American, Sam Dreiman, and his mistress, Betty Slonim, an actress. To further Betty's career, the American decides to put up the money for a play Tsutsik is writing, and the young man's life is suddenly transformed.

He finds himself emotionally involved with four women--Betty, who admires his talent; Celia, an older married woman he meets through Dr. Feitelzohn; Tekla, a girl from the country who works as a maid in his new flat; and Dora the Marxist, an old flame with whom he is reconciled on the eve of her Soviet departure. "In all the novels I have read," Tsutsik tells himself, "the hero desired only one woman, but here I was lusting after the whole female gender." One spring day, walking with Betty through his old Krochmalna Street neighborhood, Tsutsik rediscovers his past--in the person of his childhood playmate, Shosha, still an innocent young woman. Tsutsik's and Shosha's subsequent fate and that of all the friends, revealed in an epilogue in Israel, rounds off this wonderful saga of human unpredictability, self-deception, and humor in the midst of tragedy.

"Isaac Bashevis Singer.celebrates the dignity, mystery, and unexpected joy of living with more art and fervor than any other writer alive," Peter R. Prescott has stated in Newsweek. "He is concerned with all the major themes, with good and evil, belief and doubt, action and contemplation, the nature of illusion and the joys of the flesh." With the publication of Shosha, the novelist again confirms is position as one of the major figures in American Letters.

Slave, The

Slave, The
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Four years after the Chmielnicki massacres of the seventeenth century, Jacob, a slave and cowherd in a Polish village high in the mountains, falls in love with Wanda, his master's daughter. Even after he is ransomed, he finds he can't live without her, and the two escape together to a distant Jewish community. Racked by his consciousness of sin in taking a Gentile wife and by the difficulties of concealing her identity, Jacob nonetheless stands firm as the violence of the era threatens to destroy the ill-fated couple.

Spinoza of Market Street

Spinoza of Market Street
“These stories are solidly set in the Old Country and Singer is trying to recreate the world that vanished shortly after the Nazis invaded Poland.

This collection of eleven masterful stories has established Singer's reputation with discerning readers as the most brilliant representative of the Yiddish language in prose and one of the important contemporary writers in America.

The effects of these stories, translated by various hands, range from the pathetically touching to the profoundly moving. The author delights in mimicking the gauche naivete of folk narrative. But this seeming artlessness--like that of a well-wrought ballad-is intentional, sophisticated and artful in the highest degree.

In the lowliest characters and the most commonplace situations Singer is able somehow to decipher the message that this world is governed by mysterious powers, often divine, occasionally diabolical. The people in his pages are emissaries of these powers. The writer strikes through the mask of human beings who look simple on the surface and discovers unfathomable depths below depths.

This penetrating vision is embodied in a spare and distinguished style.”
~From a review by Milton Hindus in the New York Times, October 22, 1961

Table of Contents:

The Spinoza of Market Street
The Black Wedding
A Take of Two Liars
The Shadow of a Crib
Shiddah and Kuziba
Caricature
The Beggar Said So
The Man Who Came Back
A Piece of Advice
In the Poorhouse
The Destruction of Kreshev
 
   
 
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