A Focus On Isaac Bashevis Singer
The latest special issue of Pakn Treger—“Isaac Bashevis Singer: Relaunching Our Greatest Storyteller”—includes a range of features, including the discovery in Poland of printing plates that are the only remaining artifact of Singer’s earliest known work; a piece about Singer’s childhood obsession with a series of Yiddish detective novels; an interview with renowned photographer Bruce Davidson, who directed Singer in a little-known art film, Isaac Singer’s Nightmare and Mrs. Pupko’s Beard, based on a short story by the writer, who also stars in the film; as well as a compendium in which contemporary writers write about their favorite Singer story. We've selected a few pieces from the issue.
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Handpicked Josh Lambert
The Yiddish Book Center's Academic Director, Josh Lambert is the author of Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture, and American Jewish Fiction: A JPS Guide. His reviews and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Haaretz, the Forward, the Globe and Mail, and many academic journals. Josh is constantly searching our collections for material for his teaching and writing. Here are some of his latest finds.
Der Yidish-Amerikaner redner
You might not be able to use any of these speeches word-for-word at your next family celebration, but if you’d like to know what people sounded like when they spoke at Jewish weddings, funerals, and bar mitzvahs in the early-20th-century U.S., you could do worse than to browse this extensive trilingual collection.
Di goldene medineh
There are plenty of books containing illustrations and cartoons by William Gropper in the Center’s online collections, but this book—ironically titled to reflect the artist’s sharp political critiques of U.S. politics and culture—is wall-to-wall Gropper, and a delight on every page.
The Artist as Dreamer
Come for the words of welcome in four languages—Yiddish, Hebrew, French, and English—and stay to listen to Cynthia Ozick, talking with characteristic verve and passion about Jacob Wasserman, Osip Mandelshtam, Anton Checkhov, the PLO, and much more. You may not agree with everything Ozick says, but you’ll wish you’d been there, in Montreal, in 1980, to hear her.