Isaac Bashevis Singer
Collected Stories: One Night In Brazil to The Death Of Methuselah
"It's remarkable how naturally Singer fits into the American literary tradition."
— The New Yorker
In the wake of his receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978, Isaac Bashevis Singer published several volumes of short stories in collections that mingled recent work with previously untranslated stories written in Yiddish decades earlier. Stretching back to "The Jew from Babylon," a story first published in 1932, and gathering tales such as "Brother Beetle" and "There are No Coincidences" from the 1960s, the works collected in this Library of America volume, the third of three, serve as a retrospective view of Singer's achievement as a storyteller.
Collected Stories: One Night in Brazil to The Death of Methuselah also contains ten stories published in English translation for the first time, selected from the extensive collection of Singer's papers at the University of Texas. Ranging from "Between Shadows," an evocative, naturalistic sketch set in Warsaw, to the bittersweet melodrama "Morris and Timma," to the beguiling fable "Hershele and Hanele, or The Power of a Dream." These stories enrich our understanding of Singer as a writer. The volume also includes "The Bird," "My Adventures as an Idealist," "and "Exes," stories published in magazines that were not included in any of Singer's collections. Complementing the seventy-eight stories gathered here is the introduction to Gifts (1985), a version of a lecture Singer had delivered since the early 1960s—sometimes called "Why I Write as I Do"—which illuminates his biography, philosophical outlook, and literary aims.
Ilan Stavans, volume editor, is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He is the author of Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language and the editor of The Poetry of Pablo Neruda and The Oxford Book of Jewish Stories.
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