The Seance Author:Isaac Beshevis Singer "It is no longer a secret, as Catherine Hughes pointed out in her 'America' review of The Manor' that Isac Bashevis Singer is 'a teller of tales.' Phrases like 'Let me tell you a story,' and 'Now listen to this,' and 'my story is about,' recur in his work. This book of sixteen stories is his fourth collection, following 'Gimpel the Fool, 'The ... more »Spinozaof Market Street,' and 'Short Friday.' Many readers will rank it with Mr. Singer's best work.
"The title story, an account of an old man who regularly visits an unconvincing medium on Central Park West, exemplifies what the late David Boroff called Singer's rare ability 'to transmute metaphysical ideas into pure emotion.' 'Getzel the Monkey' is the story of a moneylender who mimics the town's richest man so successfully that he becomes like him to the point of tragedy. 'Zeitl and Rickel,' the story of two women who wish to marry in the next world since they cannot do so in this one, contains the sentence, 'Who can tell what goes on in another's head?' The murderer who tells his story in 'The Parrot' is driven to kill his mistress wife because she takes out her unhappiness on thir bird. 'The Slaughterer' is a brillitant portrait of the progressive madness of a man persuaded against his nature to become a ritual slaughterer. These and the other stories in this collection demonstrate the truth of Miss Hughes's assertion: 'Singer is a master story teller, one of the very few who can faithfully re-create a time forever past and render it meaninigful to a troubled present.'
"Farrar, Straus and Girous has recently published Mr. Singer's novel, 'The Estate,' which together with
The Manor,' constitues a major two-part work."« less