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A Late Arrival: Isaac Bashevis Singer in New York City, 1935

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<October 2018>


A Late Arrival: Isaac Bashevis Singer in New York City, 1935
Fordham-NYPL Lecture Series in Jewish Studies

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | 6 p.m.
Room 109 | McMahon Hall | 155 W. 60th Street | Lincoln Center Campus | New York City

Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer arrived penniless in New York in 1935, having left his common-law wife and five-year-old son in Warsaw. He entered the United States on a six-month visa, his older brother having arranged illegal work for him to write for the Jewish daily, The Forward. His fiction was largely unknown and his subject matter obscure—and yet his mission was to find his way in literature, which meant taking the literary lessons he had learned in Poland and making them relevant in America.

This talk will focus on Singer's first two decades in America—from his early Yiddish writing in The Forward (beginning in 1935) to his first English collection, Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories (published in 1957). It will examine Singer's experience as a Yiddish writer in America as reflected in his cultural journalism, personal correspondence, and translation process, revealing an acculturation process that affected and informed his literary work.

This lecture is part of the Fordham-NYPL Lecture Series in Jewish Studies, which highlights the work of scholars and writers in New York on the Fordham-NYPL Fellowship in Jewish Studies.

For more information, contact Magda Teter at 347-364-3472 or

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