Books: Sammler's Planetarians

A FRIEND OF KAFKA AND OTHER STORIES by Isaac Bashevis Singer. 31 1 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $6.95.

Isaac Bashevis Singer, 66, has now lived in the U.S. longer than he did in Poland. At both terminals he has borne witness to the Jewish catastrophes that dwarf the past and pre-empt the future: pogroms, the Holocaust, assimilation and its concomitant, the dying of the Yiddish language in which he writes. And yet within this spare grandpaterfamilias still resides the spirit of a young Hasid, whose nights were animated by ghosts leaping about the...

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