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July 16, 2004 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-07-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Bringing together all of Singer's story
collections published in English — in
translations he supervised and collabo-
rated on himself — the three volumes
also include 10 previously unpublished
stories that were found in various stages
of translation.
A companion biographical volume,
Isaac Bashevis Singer: An Album (Library
of America; $12.95) presents images
from the traveling Singer Centennial
Exhibition, a collection of Singer papers,
memorabilia and artifacts. All four vol-
umes are available in a boxed set at a
cost of $104.95.
"The Library of America is delighted
and honored to gather for the first time
the brilliant stories that speak so power-
fully to the fears and longings of our
modern nation of immigrants. We hope
the books and the celebrations will
introduce new generations of readers to
the work of this self-described 'entertain-
er of the spirit,"' says Rudin.

Nationwide Programming

Singer, grandson of two rabbis and son
of a third, lived in two different places
while still a child and brought them into
his writing. He spent his younger years
in a Warsaw neighborhood that mixed
observant Jews with a criminal element
and in the isolated village of Bilgoray,
which was steeped in folklore and super-
stitions.
Although he briefly studied for the
rabbinate, Singer chose to pursue his lit-
erary interests. He translated fiction
while publishing his own stories and
first novel, Satan in Goray.
As Hitler's power increased, Singer
moved to New York and joined his
older brother, writer Israel Joshua Singer,
and both worked for the Jewish Daily
Forward I.B. Singer's short story Gimpel
the Fool translated by Saul Bellow,
appeared in the Partisan Review in 1953
and redefined him as a mainstream
writer.
Using Yiddish for the newspaper and
English for fiction, Singer saw his writ-
ing translated into almost two dozen
languages. His best-known works
include The Family Moska4 The
Magician of Lublin, In My Father's Court
and The Manor.
Singer, who had one son with a
woman in Poland, married a German-
Jewish immigrant in 1940 America. He
continued writing until his health began
to fail in the late 1980s, and he died in
1991.
"I felt ... that literature has neglected
the terrible trauma of those who are
forced to leave their land, abandon their
language and begin a new life some-

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With
support
from the
National Endowment for the
Humanities, the nonprofit Libra?), of
America has released the three-volume
"Singer: Collected Stories," as well as
the accompanying biographical work,
"Isaac Bahevis Singer: An Album."

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Ann Arbor

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Birmingham

Close the Window will be performed
7 p.m. Wednesday, July 21, at the

Huntington Woods Public Library,
26415 Scotia. Although there is no
charge, pre-registration is requested.
(248) 543-9720.
The traveling exhibition "Becoming
an American Writer: The Life and
Works of Isaac Bashevis Singer"
can be seen Sept. 7-Oct. 2 at Ritter Art
Gallery/Florida Atlantic University in
Boca Raton, Fla., (413) 256-4900; and
Nov. 15-Dec. 30 at the Center
for Jewish History/Yeshiva University
Museum in New York City,
(212) 294-8301.
Information about the author and
other centennial events is available at
wvvvv.ibsinger100.org

Royal Oak

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Bloomfield Twp.

)

3999 Center Point Parkway

Livonia

154 S. Woodward Ave.

where else," Singer wrote. "Disruption of
this kind must be especially painful to
artists — writers and actors whose lin-
guistic roots are the essence of their cre-
ation."
In setting up programs — running
from February 2004 to January 2005 —
to recall Singer's accomplishments and
personality, planners found many forms
of creativity being formally expressed.
"There was a submission process for
the library grants," says Rudin. "We had
intended to award 50 grants, but we
gave out 60 because the ideas were so
strong.
The Flint Public Library was the only
other Michigan institution to receive
funding. During the Flint celebration,
which ran July 13-15, patrons saw films,
heard lectures and listened to story read-
ings.
Other programs around the country
include theatrical pieces, panel discus-
sions and an art display of the illustra-
tions of Margot Zemach, who collabo-
rated with Singer on children's books.
Events reach from Lincoln Center in
New York to. the Skirball Cultural
Center in Los Angeles. ❑

Pontiac

37580 W. 12. Mile Rd.
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6527 Telegraph Rd.

Royal Oak

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Brighton

13 Mile Rd. & Woodward Ave.
Northwood Plaza

Millennium Park
(Middlebelt & 1-96)

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in Brighton Square

Southfield

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Canton


1735 Canton Center Rd.

Commerce

Commerce & Carrol Lk. Rd.

Dearborn Heights

512 N. Main

15647 W. 9 Mile
at Greenfield Rd.

New Hudson

Taylor

30422 Milford Rd.
Lyon Crossing

26540 Ford Rd.
(The Heights Plaza)

Novi
47830 Grand River Ave.
(Grand River & Beck Rd.)

Detroit

Plymouth

Comerica Park Stadium

15131 Sheldon Rd.
(Sheldon at 5 Mile Rd.)

Farmington Hills

30985 Orchard Lake Rd.
(between 13 & 14 Mile Rd.)

9845 Telegraph Rd.

West Bloomfield

4763 Haggerty Rd.
(Pontiac Trail &
Haggerty Rd.)



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