Isaac Bashevis Singer - Short Story Writers, Facts and Family

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Isaac Bashevis Singer's Personal Details

Isaac Bashevis Singer was a Poland-born Jewish-American writer and the winner of Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978

InformationDetail
BirthdayNovember 21, 1902
Died onJuly 24, 1991
NationalityPolish, American
FamousNobel Laureates In Literature, Writers, Novelists, Short Story Writers
SpousesAlma Wassermann (m. 1940)
SiblingsEsther Kreitman, Israel Joshua Singer
Childrens Israel Zamir
Birth PlaceLeoncin, Congress Poland
Born CountryPoland
ReligionJewish
GenderMale
FatherHasidic rabbi
MotherBathsheba
Sun SignScorpio
Born inLeoncin, Congress Poland
Famous asWriter
Died at Age88

// Famous Writers

Isaac Bashevis Singer's photo

Who is Isaac Bashevis Singer?

Born in an orthodox Jewish family, Singer was well versed in Jewish prayers, Hebrew, and Torah & Talmud, the Jewish scriptures, but his perception of Judaism was unconventional and intricate. The Holocaust death of fellow Jews, the death of his elder brother due to thrombosis, and the death of his younger brother while he was deported to Southern Kazakhstan made Singer question the existence of a sympathetic God. He avoided conventional religious services, yet he could not keep himself away from his roots and his belief in the monotheistic God. He gradually developed his own view of religion and philosophy, which he called ‘private mysticism’. Majority of his novels and short stories portray the conflict between convention and modern ideas, faith and mysticism, and liberalization and nihilism. Though his stories are set in Jewish background, they have a common message for the entire mankind. His works deal with the autocracy of power, passion, obsession, and struggle between preservation of tradition and replenishment. Most of his works are written in the nineteenth century parable style, but he gave them a modern touch by relating events and people belonging to his era. His novels, “The Manor,” “The Estate,” and “The Family Moskat” are often related to be written in the style of Thomas Mann's novel, “Buddenbrooks”. Most of his works have been translated into English.

// Famous Novelists

Childhood & Early Life:

He was one of the four children born to Rabbi Pincus Menachem and Bathsheba Zylberman. He had an elder sister and brother (who later became eminent writers) and also a younger brother, Moshe.

In 1908, his family lived in Krochmalna Street, the Yiddish-speaking poor Jewish province of Warsaw that became the background for most of his novels.

Life became difficult for the family after war. In 1917, along with his younger brother Moshe and his mother, he moved to his mother’s hometown Biłgoray, whereas his father, his elder brother and sister continued to live in Warsaw.

He came back to live in Warsaw when his father became a village rabbi. In 1921, he was put in Tachkemoni Rabbinical Seminary, but could pursue his course only for a year.

Career

With the help of his elder brother Joshua, who was an editor for the journal, ‘Literarische Bleter,’ he started his career as a proof-reader in 1923. Simultaneously, he worked as a translator and journalist.

He had translated the works of famous European novelists into Yiddish. His translated works of “The Magic Mountain” by Thomas Mann and “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque are noteworthy.

From 1933 to 1935, he worked as an associate editor of “Globus,” a Yiddish literary magazine, where his first novel, ‘Satan in Goray’ was serialized.

In 1935, he immigrated to New York and worked for ‘The Forward’, a Yiddish-language newspaper aimed at Yiddish readers.

He wrote under the pen name “Bashevis" to honor his mother Bathsheba and to distinguish himself from his elder brother, Joshua Singer who was also a renowned writer.

Major Works

His first book, “Satan in Goray” was published in 1935 - was written before Hitler’s entry into Poland and before the Holocaust. The novel is about a false messiah Sabattai Zevi. Under the supervision of the author, the novel was translated into English by Jacob Sloan.

“The Slave”, published in 1962, was in line with John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” an allegory written in realistic terms. The novel speaks about Jacob, a Jewish scholar who was sold as a slave to a Pagan peasant community, where he fell in love with Wanda, his master’s daughter.

“Enemies: A Love Story,” his personal novel was filmed and directed by Paul Mazursky in 1989. The novel deals with the life of Herman Broder, a Holocaust survivor who lost his faith in religion and life and about the complication in his relationships.

“Shosha,” the remarkable novel that won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978, is about Aaron Greidinger, an ambitious young writer and son of a Hasidic rabbi..

Awards & Achievements

The year 1978 was significant in his life as he received the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature for his work, “Shosha.” It was the highest honor awarded to a language that was almost at the verge of extinction.

Apart from being a Nobel Laureate, he was also awarded the National Book Award for Children’s Books and Fiction. He was also the recipient of Gold Medal from the “American Academy of Arts and Letters” for ‘Fiction’.

Brue Davidson, a notable photographer, made a documentary film ‘Mr Singer's Nightmare or Mrs Pupkos Beard,’ in which the author himself played a leading role apart from writing the script.

Personal Life & Legacy

Between 1926 and 1935, he lived with Runia Shapira, a rabbi’s daughter and a Communist who was expelled from the USSR for supporting the Zionists. The couple were never married but had a son named Israel Zamir, born in 1929. The couple got separated when Singer moved to USA in 1935 while Runia moved to Moscow and finally to Palestine along with her son.

He met Alma Wassermann in 1938. Their relationship became intimate and Alma divorced her husband Wassermann and married Singer in 1940.

He had affairs with several women including Dvora Menashe, a Hispanic maid, Lester Goran, his colleague at the University of Miami and Dvora Menashe, his assistant. His wife Alma endured his infidelity patiently.

He became weak after a series of strokes and breathed his last on July 24, 1991.

A street in Surfside, Florida is named after this famous author.

As a tribute to his literary achievement, the University of Miami offers scholarship to its undergraduate students.

Trivia

This Yiddish writer became a vegetarian in the later part of his life and said “I did not become a vegetarian for my health; I did it for the health of the chickens.”

This Nobel Laureate writer incurred the wrath of his Yiddish contemporaries by writing about the homosexual relationship between the rabbis, the Hasids and the Yeshiva boys.

// Famous Short Story Writers

Isaac Bashevis Singer awards

YearNameAward

Other

1968 - Bancarella Prize
1978 - Nobel Prize for Literature
1974 - National Book Award
1983 - Edgar Allan Poe Award Raven Award

Isaac Bashevis Singer biography timelines

  • // 21st Nov 1902
    He was one of the four children born to Rabbi Pincus Menachem and Bathsheba Zylberman. He had an elder sister and brother (who later became eminent writers) and also a younger brother, Moshe.
  • // 1908
    In 1908, his family lived in Krochmalna Street, the Yiddish-speaking poor Jewish province of Warsaw that became the background for most of his novels.
  • // 1917
    Life became difficult for the family after war. In 1917, along with his younger brother Moshe and his mother, he moved to his mother’s hometown Biłgoray, whereas his father, his elder brother and sister continued to live in Warsaw.
  • // 1921
    He came back to live in Warsaw when his father became a village rabbi. In 1921, he was put in Tachkemoni Rabbinical Seminary, but could pursue his course only for a year.
  • // 1923
    With the help of his elder brother Joshua, who was an editor for the journal, ‘Literarische Bleter,’ he started his career as a proof-reader in 1923. Simultaneously, he worked as a translator and journalist.
  • // 1926 To 1935
    Between 1926 and 1935, he lived with Runia Shapira, a rabbi’s daughter and a Communist who was expelled from the USSR for supporting the Zionists. The couple were never married but had a son named Israel Zamir, born in 1929. The couple got separated when Singer moved to USA in 1935 while Runia moved to Moscow and finally to Palestine along with her son.
  • // 1933 To 1935
    From 1933 to 1935, he worked as an associate editor of “Globus,” a Yiddish literary magazine, where his first novel, ‘Satan in Goray’ was serialized.
  • // 1935
    In 1935, he immigrated to New York and worked for ‘The Forward’, a Yiddish-language newspaper aimed at Yiddish readers.
  • // 1935
    His first book, “Satan in Goray” was published in 1935 - was written before Hitler’s entry into Poland and before the Holocaust. The novel is about a false messiah Sabattai Zevi. Under the supervision of the author, the novel was translated into English by Jacob Sloan.
  • // 1940
    He met Alma Wassermann in 1938. Their relationship became intimate and Alma divorced her husband Wassermann and married Singer in 1940.
  • // 1962
    “The Slave”, published in 1962, was in line with John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” an allegory written in realistic terms. The novel speaks about Jacob, a Jewish scholar who was sold as a slave to a Pagan peasant community, where he fell in love with Wanda, his master’s daughter.
  • // 1974
    Brue Davidson, a notable photographer, made a documentary film ‘Mr Singer's Nightmare or Mrs Pupkos Beard,’ in which the author himself played a leading role apart from writing the script.
  • // 1978
    “Shosha,” the remarkable novel that won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978, is about Aaron Greidinger, an ambitious young writer and son of a Hasidic rabbi..
  • // 1978
    The year 1978 was significant in his life as he received the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature for his work, “Shosha.” It was the highest honor awarded to a language that was almost at the verge of extinction.
  • // 1989
    “Enemies: A Love Story,” his personal novel was filmed and directed by Paul Mazursky in 1989. The novel deals with the life of Herman Broder, a Holocaust survivor who lost his faith in religion and life and about the complication in his relationships.
  • // 24th Jul 1991
    He became weak after a series of strokes and breathed his last on July 24, 1991.

// Famous Nobel Laureates In Literature

Isaac Bashevis Singer's FAQ

  • What is Isaac Bashevis Singer birthday?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer was born at 1902-11-21

  • When was Isaac Bashevis Singer died?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer was died at 1991-07-24

  • Where was Isaac Bashevis Singer died?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer was died in Surfside, Florida, USA

  • Which age was Isaac Bashevis Singer died?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer was died at age 88

  • Where is Isaac Bashevis Singer's birth place?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer was born in Leoncin, Congress Poland

  • What is Isaac Bashevis Singer nationalities?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer's nationalities is Polish,American

  • Who is Isaac Bashevis Singer spouses?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer's spouses is Alma Wassermann (m. 1940)

  • Who is Isaac Bashevis Singer siblings?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer's siblings is Esther Kreitman, Israel Joshua Singer

  • Who is Isaac Bashevis Singer childrens?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer's childrens is Israel Zamir

  • What is Isaac Bashevis Singer's religion?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer's religion is Jewish

  • Who is Isaac Bashevis Singer's father?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer's father is Hasidic rabbi

  • Who is Isaac Bashevis Singer's mother?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer's mother is Bathsheba

  • What is Isaac Bashevis Singer's sun sign?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer is Scorpio

  • How famous is Isaac Bashevis Singer?

    Isaac Bashevis Singer is famouse as Writer