Isaac Bashevis Singer: conversations

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University Press of Mississippi, 1992 - Literary Criticism - 259 pages
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Isaac Bashevis Singer loved to give interviews. He was famous for encouraging interruptions of the solitary task of writing. These twenty-four welcomed interruptions are representative of the many he allowed over a twenty-five-year period. Included here are his conversations with such interviewers as Irving Howe, Laurie Colwin, Richard Burgin, and Herbert R. Lottman. In these talks Singer discusses the nature of his writing, its ethnic roots, his demonology, the importance of free will, and the place of storytelling in human life. The interviews with Singer reveal both his impish sense of humor and a determination that sustained him through many years of limited acclaim and comparative neglect by critics. Yiddishists often faulted him for refusing to use his talent as a force for change in the world, Jewish readers often deplored his use of pre-Enlightenment folk material, and academics could not take too seriously a writer who insisted on telling stories that emphasized plot and character. Yet he was not deterred from his astonishing and beloved work, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

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Contents

An Interview with Isaac Bashevis Singer Joel Blocker
3
A Visit to Isaac Bashevis Singer Reena Sara Ribalow
23
He Builds Bridges to the Past Melvin Maddocks
32
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Isaac Bashevis Singer was one of the last great Yiddish authors and received world acclaim for his rich and haunting novels of Jewish life and folklore. In 1978, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was also the recipient of two National Book Awards and three Newbery Honor Awards. "Zlateh the Goat, " a 1967 Newbery Honor Book, was his first book for children.

Grace Farrell Lee is Professor of English at a college in Connecticut.

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