The Last Teller of Tales

Isaac Bashevis Singer: 1904-1991

It was easy for Isaac Bashevis Singer to believe in miracles. He was proof that they existed. In 1935 the rabbi's son journeyed from Warsaw to New York City to visit his brother, novelist Israel Joshua Singer, and thereby escaped the Holocaust. He described vanished worlds in a dying language to a dwindling audience and was awarded the 1978 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was unknown at 40, but last week, when I.B. Singer died of a stroke at the age of 87, he was the most applauded Polish-born writer since Joseph Conrad.

Singer had every right to act the celebrity,...

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