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Isaac Bashevis Singer

Isaac Bashevis Singer
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Isaac Bashevis Singer was born in 1902 in Leoncin, a small village
inhabited mainly by Jews near Warsaw in Poland, then part of the
Russian Empire, probably on November 21, 1902. (This would concur with
the date and month he admitted in private to his official biographer
Paul Kresh[1], his secretary Dvorah Telushkin ([2] p. 266), and with
the historical events he and his brother refer to in their
childhood-memoirs. The usual, official date of birth, or July 14,
1904, had been freely decided upon by the author in his early youth,
most probably making himself younger to avoid the draft; the family
moved to Radzymin, often erroneously cited as his birthplace, some
years later.) His father was a Hasidic rabbi and his mother,
Bathsheba, was the daughter of the rabbi of Bilgoraj. Singer later
used her name in his pen name "Bashevis" (son of Bathsheba). His
brother Israel Joshua Singer also was a noted writer. Their elder
sister, Esther Kreitman, was also a writer. She was the first in the
family to write stories.[3] The family moved to the court of the Rabbi
of Radzymin in 1907, where his father became head of the Yeshiva.
After the Yeshiva-building burned down, the family moved to
Krochmalna-Street in the Yiddish-speaking poor Jewish quarter of
Warsaw in 1908, where Singer grew up. There his father acted as a
rabbi - that is, as judge, arbitrator, religious authority and
spiritual leader.[4]

In 1917 the family had to split up because of the hardships of World
War I, and Singer moved with his mother and younger brother Moshe to
his mother's hometown of Bilgoraj, a traditional Jewish village or
shtetl, where his mother's brothers had followed his grandfather as
rabbis.[4] When his father became a village-rabbi again in 1921,
Singer went back to Warsaw, where he entered the Tachkemoni Rabbinical
Seminary, but found out that neither the school nor the profession
suited him. He returned to Bilgoraj, where he tried to support himself
by giving Hebrew lessons, but soon gave up and joined his parents,
considering himself a failure. But in 1923 his older brother Israel
Joshua arranged for him to move to Warsaw to work as a proofreader for
the Literarische Bleter, of which he was an editor.[5]

Singer's first published story won the literary competition of the
"literarishe bletter" and he soon got a name as a promising talent. A
reflection of his formative years in "the kitchen of literature" (his
own expression)([2] p. 132) can be found in many of his later works.
I. B. Singer's first novel was Satan in Goray which he first published
in installments in a literary magazine, Globus, which he had founded
with his life-long friend, the Yiddish poet Aaron Zeitlin in 1935. It
tells the story of the events in the village of Goraj (close to
Bilgoraj), after the terrible catastrophe of 1648, where the Jews of
Poland lost a third of their population in a cruel uprising by
Cossacks and the effects of the seventeenth century faraway false
messiah Shabbatai Zvi on the local population. Its last chapter is
written in the style imitative of medieval Yiddish chronicle. The
people in this novel, as elsewhere with Singer, are often at the mercy
of the capricious infliction of circumstance, but even more their own
passions, manias, superstitions and fanatical dreams. In its stark
depiction of innocence crushed by circumstance it appears like a
foreboding of the coming danger. In his later work The Slave (1962)
Singer returned to the aftermath of 1648 again, in a love story of a
Jewish man and a Gentile woman, where he shows the traumatized and
desperate survivors of a historic catastrophe with even deeper

To flee from approaching fascism, Singer emigrated, once again with
the help of his brother, to the U.S. in 1935. In doing that, he
separated from his first wife Rachel, and son Israel, who went to
Moscow and later Palestine. Singer settled in New York, where he
started writing as a journalist and columnist for The Forward
(Yiddish: פֿ×?ָרװערטס), a Yiddish-language newspaper. After a
beginning, he became despondent and, for some years, felt "Lost in
America" (title of a Singer-novel, in Yiddish from 1974 onward, in
English 1981). But, in 1938, he met Alma Wassermann, born Haimann, a
German-Jewish refugee from Munich, whom he married in 1940. With her
at his side, he became a prolific writer again and, in due course, a
valued contributor to the Forward with so many articles that he used,
besides "Bashevis", the pen names "Varshavsky" and "D. Segal".[6]

Isaac Bashevis Singer, as it appears from a much larger mural painting
in Flagstaff, Arizona.However, he became an actual literary
contributor to the Forward only after his brother's death in 1945,
when he published "The Family Moskat", which he wrote in honor of his
older brother. But his own style showed in the daring turns of his
action and characters - with (and this in the Jewish family-newspaper
in 1945) double adultery in the holiest of nights of Judaism, the
evening of Yom Kippur. He was almost forced to stop the novel by the
legendary editor in chief, Abraham Cahan, but was saved through his
readers, who wanted the story to go on. After this, his stories -
which he had published in Yiddish literary newspapers before - were
printed in the Forward too. Throughout the 1940s, Singer's reputation
began to grow. After World War II and the near destruction of the
Yiddish-speaking peoples, Yiddish seemed a dead language. Though
Singer had moved to the United States, he believed in the power of his
native language and was convinced that there was still a large
audience that longed to read in Yiddish. In an interview in Encounter
(Feb. 1979), he claimed that although the Jews of Poland had died,
"something - call it spirit or whatever - is still somewhere in the
universe. This is a mystical kind of feeling, but I feel there is
truth in it."

Some say that Singer's work is indebted to the great writers of
Yiddish tradition such as Sholom Aleichem, and he himself considered
his older brother his greatest artistic example. But actually he was
more influenced by Knut Hamsun, whom he read (and translated) in his
youth, and whose subjective approach he transferred to his own world,
which, contrary to Hamsun's, was not only shaped by the ego of its
characters, but by the moral commitments of the Jewish traditions he
grew up with and which his father embodies in the stories about his
youth. This led to the dichotomy between the life his heroes led and
the life they feel they should lead - which gives his art a modernity
his predecessors do not have. His themes of witchcraft, mystery and
legend draw on traditional sources, but they are contrasted with a
modern and ironic consciousness. They are also concerned with the
bizarre and the grotesque.

Singer always wrote and published in Yiddish (almost all of it in
newspapers) and then edited his novels and stories for the American
version, which became the base for all the other translations (he
talked of his "second original"). This has led to an ongoing
controversy where the "real Singer" can be found - in the Yiddish
original, with its finely tuned language, and, sometimes, rambling
construction, or in the tightly edited American version, where the
language is usually simpler and more direct. Many stories and novels
of I. B. Singer have not been translated yet.

Singer published at least 18 novels, 14 children's books, a number of
memoirs, essays and articles, but he is best known as a writer of
short stories which have appeared in over a dozen collections. The
first collection of Singer's short stories in English, Gimpel the
Fool, was published in 1957. The title story was translated by Saul
Bellow and published in May 1953 in Partisan Review. Selections from
Singer's "Varshavsky-stories" in the Daily Forward were later
published in anthologies as My Father's Court (1966). Later
collections include A Crown of Feathers (1973), with notable
masterpieces in between, such as The Spinoza of Market Street (1961)
and A Friend of Kafka (1970). The world of his stories is the world
and life of East European Jewry, such as it was lived in cities and
villages, in poverty and persecution, and imbued with sincere piety
and rites combined with blind faith and superstition. After his many
years in America, his stories also concerned themselves with the world
of the immigrants and the way they pursue the American dream, elusive
both when they obtain it, as Salomon Margolin, the successful doctor
of "A Wedding in Brownsville" (in Short Friday), who finds out his
true love was killed by the Nazis, or when it escapes them as it does
the "Cabalist of East Broadway" (in A Crown of Feathers), who prefers
the misery of the Lower East Side to an honored and secure life as a
married man. It appears to include everything - pleasure and
suffering, coarseness and subtlety. We find obtrusive carnality,
spicy, colourful, fragrant or smelly, lewd or violent. But there is
also room for sagacity, worldly wisdom and humor.

One of Singer's most prominent themes is the clash between the old and
the modern world, tradition and renewal, faith and free thought. Among
many other themes, it is dealt with in Singer's big family chronicles
- the novels, The Family Moskat (1950), The Manor (1967), and The
Estate (1969). These extensive epic works have been compared with
Thomas Mann's novel, Buddenbrooks. (Singer had translated Mann's Der
Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain) into Yiddish as a young writer.) Like
Mann in Buddenbrooks, Singer describes how old families are broken up
by the new age and its demands, from the middle of the nineteenth
century up to the Second World War, and how they are split,
financially, socially and humanly.

One of his most famous novels (due to a popular movie remake) was
Enemies, a Love Story in which a Holocaust survivor deals with his own
desires, complex family relationships, and the loss of faith. Singer's
feminist story "Yentl" has had a wide impact on culture since being
made into a popular movie starring Barbra Streisand. Perhaps the most
fascinating Singer-inspired film is 1974's "Mr. Singer's Nightmare or
Mrs. Pupkos Beard" by Bruce Davidson, a renowned photographer who
became Singer's neighbor. This unique film is a half-hour mixture of
documentary and fantasy for which Singer not only wrote the script but
played the leading part.

Throughout the 1960s, Singer continued to write on questions of
personal morality, and was the target of scathing criticism from many
quarters during this time, some of it for not being "moral" enough,
some for writing stories that no one wanted to hear. To this he
replied, "Literature must spring from the past, from the love of the
uniform force that wrote it, and not from the uncertainty of the
future."[citation needed]

Singer's own relationship with religion was complex. He regarded
himself as a skeptic and a loner, though he still felt connected to
his Orthodox roots, and ultimately developed his own brand of religion
and philosophy which he called a "private mysticism: Since God was
completely unknown and eternally silent, He could be endowed with
whatever traits one elected to hang upon Him."[citation needed]

After being awarded the Nobel Prize in 1978, Singer gained a
monumental status among writers throughout the world, and his
reputation with non-Jewish audiences is now higher than that of any
other Yiddish writer.

Singer died on July 24, 1991 in Miami, Florida, after suffering a
series of strokes

Isaac Bashevis Singer; The Nobel Prize in Literature 1978
In one of his more light-hearted books, Isaac Bashevis Singer depicts
his childhood in one of the over-populated poor quarters of Warsaw, a
Jewish quarter, just before and during the First World War. The book,
called In My Father's Court (1966), is sustained by a redeeming,
melancholy sense of humour and a clear-sightedness free of illusion.
This world has gone forever, destroyed by the most terrible of all
scourges that have afflicted the Jews and other people in Poland. But
it comes to life in Singer's memories and writing in general. Its
mental and physical environment and its centuries-old traditions have
set their stamp on Singer as a man and a writer, and provide the
ever-vivid subject matter for his inspiration and imagination. It is
the world and life of East European Jewry, such as it was lived in
cities and villages, in poverty and persecution, and imbued with
sincere piety and rites combined with blind faith and superstition.
Its language was Yiddish - the language of the simple people and of
the women, the language of the mothers which preserved fairytales and
anecdotes, legends and memories for hundreds of years past, through a
history which seems to have left nothing untried in the way of agony,
passions, aberrations, cruelty and bestiality, but also of heroism,
love and self-sacrifice.

Singer's father was a rabbi, a spiritual mentor and confessor, of the
Hasid school of piety. His mother also came from a family of rabbis.
The East European Jewish-mystical Hasidism combined Talmud doctrine
and a fidelity to scripture and rites - which often merged into
prudery and strict adherence to the law - with a lively and sensually
candid earthiness that seemed familiar with all human experience. Its
world, which the reader encounters in Singer's stories, is a very
Jewish but also a very human world. It appears to include everything -
pleasure and suffering, coarseness and subtlety. We find obstrusive
carnality, spicy, colourful, fragrant or smelly, lewd or violent. But
there is also room for sagacity, worldly wisdom and shrewd
speculation. The range extends from the saintly to the demoniacal,
from quiet contemplation and sublimity, to ruthless obsession and
infernal confusion or destruction. It is typical that among the
authors Singer read at an early age who have influenced him and
accompanied him through life were Spinoza, Gogol and Dostoievsky, in
addition to Talmud, Kabbala and kindred writings.

Singer began his writing career as a journalist in Warsaw in the years
between the wars. He was influenced by his elder brother, now dead,
who was already an author and who contributed to the younger brother's
spiritual liberation and contact with the new currents of seething
political, social and cultural upheaval. The clash between tradition
and renewal, between other-worldliness and faith and mysticism on the
one hand, and free thought, secularization, doubt and nihilism on the
other, is an essential theme in Singer's short stories and novels. The
theme is Jewish, made topical by the barbarous conflicts of our age, a
painful drama between contentious loyalties. But it is also of concern
to mankind, to us all, Jew or non-Jew, actualized by modern western
culture's struggles between preservation and renewal. Among many other
themes, it is dealt with in Singer's big family chronicles - the
novels, The Family Moskat (1950), The Manor (1967), and The Estate
(1969). These extensive epic works have been compared with Thomas
Mann's novel, Buddenbrooks. Like Mann, Singer describes how old
families are broken up by the new age and its demands, from the middle
of the 19th century up to the Second World War, and how they are
split, financially, socially and humanly. But Singer's chronicles are
greater in scope than Mann's novel and more richly orchestrated in
their characterization. The author's apparently inexhaustible
psychological fantasy has created a microcosm, or rather, a
well-populated microchaos, out of independent and graphically
convincing figures. They bring to mind another writer whom Singer read
when young - Leo Tolstoy.

Singer's earliest fictional works, however, were not big novels but
short stories and novellas, a genre in which he has perhaps given his
very best as a consummate storyteller and stylist. The novel, Satan in
Goray, written originally in Yiddish, like practically all Singer
books, appeared in 1935 when the Nazi catastrophe was threatening and
just before the author emigrated to the USA, where he has lived and
worked ever since. It treats of a theme to which Singer has often
returned in different ways and with variations in time, place and
personages - the false Messiah, his seductive arts and successes, the
mass hysteria around him, his fall and the breaking up of illusions in
destitution and new illusion, or in penance and purity. Satan in Goray
takes place in the 17th century, in the confusion and the sufferings
after the cruel ravages of the Cossacks, with outrages and mass murder
of Jews and other wretched peasants and artisans. The people in this
novel, as elsewhere with Singer, are often at the mercy of the
capricious infliction of circumstance, but even more so, their own
passions. The passions are frequently of a sexual nature but also of
another kind - manias and superstitions, fanatical hopes and dreams,
the figments of terror, the lure of lust or power, the nightmares of
anguish, and so on. Even boredom can become a restless passion, as
with the main character in the tragi-comic picaresque novel, The
Magician of Lublin (1961), a most eccentric anti-hero, a kind of
Jewish Don Juan and rogue, who ends up as an ascetic or saint.

This is one of the most characteristic themes with Singer - the
tyranny of the passions, the power and fickle inventiveness of
obsession, the grotesque wealth of variation, and the destructive, but
also inflaming and paradoxically creative potential of the emotions.
We encounter this tumultuous and colourful world particularly in
Singer's numerous and fantastic short stories, available in English
translation in about a dozen collections, from the early Gimpel The
Fool (translated 1953), to the later work, A Crown of Feathers (1973),
with notable masterpieces in between, such as, The Spinoza of Market
Street (1961), or, A Friend of Kafka (1970). The passions and crazes
are personified in Singer as demons, spectres, ghosts and all kinds of
infernal or supernatural powers from the rich storehouse of Jewish
popular imagination. These demons are not only graphic literary
symbols, but also real, tangible beings - Singer, in fact, says he
believes in their physical presence. The middle ages rise up in his
work and permeate the present. Everyday life is interwoven with
wonders, reality spun from dreams, the blood of the past with the
moment in which we are living. This is where Singer's narrative art
celebrates its greatest triumphs and bestows a reading experience of a
deeply original kind, harrowing, but also stimulating and edifying.
Many of his characters step with unquestioned authority into the
Pantheon of literature, where the eternal companions and mythical
figures live, tragic and grotesque, comic and touching, weird and
wonderful people of dream and torment, baseness and grandeur.

Issac Bashevis Singer, born in Radzymin near Warsaw, emigrated 1935 to
USA. He died in 1991.

In addition to the works mentioned above Singer's writings include -
in English:
the novels
The Slave, transl. by the author and Cecil Hemley. New York: Farrar
Straus, 1962; London: Secker and Warburg, 1963.
Enemies: A Love Story, transl. by Alizah Shevrin and Elizabeth Shub.
N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1972.
Shosha. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1978.
Reaches of Heaven. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1980.
The Golem. London: Deutsch, 1983.
The Penitent. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1983.
Yentl the Yeshiva Boy, transl. from the Yiddish by Marion Magid and
Elisabeth Pallet. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1983.
The Ring of the Fields. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1988.
Scum, transl. by Rosaline Dukalsky Schwartz. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1991.
the collections of short stories
Short Friday, transl. by Ruth Whitman and others. N.Y.: Farrar Straus,
1964; London: Seeker and Warburg, 1967.
The Seance, transl. by Ruth Whitman and others. N.Y.: Farrar Straus,
1968; London: Cape, 1970.
Passions, transl. by the author in collab. with others. N.Y.: Farrar
Straus, 1975; London: Cape, 1976.
Old Love. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1979.
The Power of Light. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1980.
The Image and Other Stories. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1985.
The Death of Metuselah and Other Stories. London: Cape, 1988.
the memoirs
A Little Boy in Search of God: Mysticism in a Personal Light. N.Y.:
Doubleday, 1976.
A Young Man in Search of Love, transl. by Joseph Singer. N.Y.:
Doubleday, 1978.
Lost in America. N.Y.: Doubleday, 1981.
for children
Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories, transl. by the author and Elizabeth
Shub. N.Y.: Harper, 1966; London: Secker and Warburg, 1967.
When Schlemiel Went to Warsaw and Other Stories, transl. by the author
and Elizabeth Shub. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1968.
A Day of Pleasure: Stories of a Boy Growing up in Warsaw, transl. by
the author and Elizabeth Shub. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1969.
The Fools of Chelm and Their History, transl. by the author and
Elizabeth Shub. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1973.
Why Noah Chose the Dove, transl. by Elizabeth Shub. N.Y.: Farrar
Straus, 1974.
Stories for Children. N.Y.: Farrar Straus, 1986.

From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1968-1980, Editor-in-Charge Tore
Frängsmyr, Editor Sture Allén, World Scientific Publishing Co.,
Singapore, 1993

This autobiography/biography was first published in the book series
Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures.
To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.


Isaac Bashevir Singer died on July 24, 1991.

Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991) - pseudonym Warshofsky


Polish-born American journalist, novelist, short-story writer, and
essayist, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978. Singer's
chief subject is the traditional Polish life in various periods of
history, largely before the Holocaust. He has especially examined the
role of the Jewish faith in the lives of his characters, who are
pestered with passions, magic, asceticisms and religious devotion.
According to Singer, "A good writer is basically a story-teller, not a
scholar or a redeemer of mankind."

"I started to "write" even before I knew the alphabet. I would dip a
pen in ink and scribble. I also liked to draw—horses, houses, dogs.
The Sabbath was an ordeal for me, because it is forbidden to write on
that day." (from A Day of Pleasure, 1996)
Isaac Bashevis Singer was born Icek-Hersz Zynger in the town of
Radzymin, near Warsaw, Poland. His father was a Hasidic rabbi;
Bathsheba, his mother, was the daughter of a rabbi. When Singer was
three the family moved to Warsaw, where his father supervised a beth
din, or rabbinical court, where he acted as a rabbi, judge, and
spiritual leader. Singer also spent several years in Bilgorai, a
traditional Jewish village. He received traditional Jewish education
and became acquainted with Jewish law in Hebrew and Aramaic texts. All
in the family liked to tell stories and at a very young age Singer
started to invent his own tales.

Singer entered in 1920 the Tachkemoni Rabbinical Seminary, but then
returned to Bilgoray, where he supported himself by giving Hebrew
lessons. In 1923 Singer moved to Warsaw, where he worked as a
proofreader for the Literarische Bleter, edited by his brother I.J.
Singer. Singer rendered into Yiddish German thrillers and works from
such authors as Knut Hamsun, Thomas Man and Erich Maria Remarque. From
1933 to 1935 he was an associate editor of Globus.

As a novelist Singer made his debut with DER SOTN IN GORAY (Satan in
Goray), which was published in Poland in 1932. It was written in a
linguistic and rhetorical style imitative of mediaeval Yiddish book of
chronicles. The story was loosely based on the events surrounding the
17th-century false messiah Shabbatai Zvi, and painted a portrait of
messianic fever. In his later work, THE SLAVE (1962), Singer returned
again to the 17th-century in a love story about a Jewish man and
gentile woman, whose relationship is threatened by their different

In 1935 Singer joined the staff of the Jewish Daily Forward as foreign
correspondent. To flee from anti-Semitism, Singer moved in 1935 to the
United States, parting from his first wife, Rachel, and son, Israel,
who went to Moscow and later Palestine. He settled in New York, where
he worked for the Yiddish-language newspaper Forverts. In 1940 He
married Alma Haimann, a German émigré, who worked for many years in a
New York department store.

Singer became in 1943 an American citizen. The first collection of his
stories in English, GIMPEL THE FOOL, was published in 1957 - the title
novel was translated by Saul Bellow and published in 1952 in Partisan
Review. Stories published in Daily Forward were later collected among
FATHER'S COURT (2000). Singer's father appear them as a pious man who
is happiest studying the Talmud; his mother is practical and wishes
her husband would pay more attention to money and everyday problems.

With his election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in
1964, Singer became its only American member to write in a language
other than English. "Yiddish is the wise and humble language of us
all, the idiom of frightened and hopeful humanity." Singer published
18 novels, 14 children's books, a number of essays, articles, and
reviews, but in the United States he was perhaps best-known as a short
story writer. Although his works are best known in their English
versions, he originally composed them in Yiddish. Singer has
collaborated with many distinguished translators, among them Saul
Bellow, but most frequently Cecil Hemley. Many of his stories were
published under the penname 'Isaac Bashevis', and much journalism as
by 'Warshofsky'. Among the films based on Singer's stories are The
Magician of Lublin (1979), directed by Menahem Golan, Barbara
Streisand's Yentl from 1983, and Enemies: A Love Story (1989),
directed by Paul Mazursky and starring Anjelica Huston, Ron Silver and
Lena Olin. Mazursky cowrote the screenplay with Roger L. Simon. The
protagonist is a Jewish intelletual who manages to escape death in the
Holocaust. He settles in Brooklyn and learns after a new marriage,
that his first wife has also survived and come to America.

Singer's best-known works include THE FAMILY MOSKAT (1950), his first
novel published in English. The family saga continued in THE MANOR
(1967) and THE ESTATE (1969). THE MAGICIAN OF LUBLIN (1960),
translated into several languages, is about a lusty magician and his
downfall. In SHOSHA (1978), a love story set in Poland in the 1930s,
Singer returned to the Krochmalna street of his childhood. Singer's
short story collections include A FRIEND OF KAFKA (1970), THE DEATH OF
METHUSELAH AND OTHER STORIES (1988). The quasi-autobiographical
novels, such as In My Father's Court and LOVE AND EXILE (1984) focus
mostly on Singer's Hasidic upbringing in Poland and his subsequent
rebellion against it. The attitude of Singer's characters to religion
was not fixed; the author himself avoided ideological rigidity.

Singer's novels have realistic social and natural settings; Singer
pays much attention to the plot and characters, especially their
sexual passions, but on the other hand he deals with spiritual truths
and magic beyond everyday life, which separate his stories from
traditional realism. "It seems that the analysis of character is the
highest human entertainment.," Singer once said. "And literature does
it, unlike gossip, without mentioning real names." (in an interview
with Richard Burgin, in the New York Times Magazine, Nov. 26, 1978) As
a writer Singer saw his role marginally influential or as he remarked:
"Writers can stir the mind, but they can't direct it. Time changes
things, God changes things, the dictators change things, but writers
can't change anything." For most of the last 14 years of his life,
Singer was assisted by Dvorah Telushkin, who met Singer in 1975, when
she was 21. Telushkin wrote about their relationship in her book
Master of Dreams (1997). Singer died on July 24, 1991.

Singer's brother Israel Joshua Singer (1893-1944) was also a writer.
He worked as a journalist in Warsaw during the 1920s and early 1930s,
where he wrote his first novels. After immigration to the United
States, the writings appeared in serialized form in newspaper
Forwerts. Israel Joshua Singer was more politically engaged than his
brother. He travelled widely in the Soviet Russia in 1926, but became
increasingly disillusioned with the Soviet political system. His works
ASCHKENAZI (1936), THE RIVER BREAKS UP (1938; engl. 1976), EAST OF
EDEN (1939; engl. 1976), DI MISHPOKHE KARNOVSKI (The Family Carnovsky,
1943), STEEL AND IRON (1969). His three-volumed The Brothers Askhenazi
was set in the Polish city of Lodz, and covered a period from the
early years of the nineteenth century until 1919. - The sister of
Isaac Bashevis Singer, Esther Singer (born in Radzymin, Poland, in
1892), married name Kreitman, has written among others novel DER
SHEYDIM TUNTS, published in Warsaw 1936, translated in English in 1946
as Deborah.

For further reading: Isaac Bashevis Singer by Jante Hadda (1997);
Critical Essays on Isaac Bashevis Singer, ed. by Grace Farrell (1996);
Understanding Isaac Bashevis Singer by Lawrence S. Friedman (1988);
Recovering the Canon, ed. by David Neal Miller (1986); Conversations
with Isaac Bashevis Singer by R. Burgin (1985); Fear of Fiction by
David Neal Miler (1985); The Brothers Singer by C. Sinclair (1983);
The Singer Saga by C.M. Eastley (1983); Isaac Bashevis Singer by E.
Alexander (1980); Isaac Bashevis Singer by P. Kresh (1979); Isaac
Bashevis Singer by I. Malin (1972); Critical Views of Isaac Bashevis
Singer, ed. by Irving Malin (1969) - See also: Chaim Potok, a rabbi
and author, and Saul Bellow, one of the most important Jewish-American
writers after WW II. - Suom.: Suomennettu myös teos Parantumaton,
novelli Spiritistinen istunto, sekä Hölmön paratiisi.