Books: A Din of Demanding Voices

The 1982 publication of Isaac Bashevis Singer's Collected Stories prompted critical applause, commercial success and a nagging uneasiness among the author's devoted readers. Might this summing-up of a life's work, coming from a man whose career had already been decorated with a Nobel Prize, be an indication that Singer, then 74, was thinking of slowing down? In retrospect, ! of course, it would have made more sense and wasted less time to be concerned that birds would stop singing or the world suddenly grow sensible and dull. Forces of nature do not stop voluntarily. Sure enough, a book of 22 new...

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