Short Friday Author:Isaac Bashevis Singer This new collection of stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer represents the full range of a master storyteller. There are sixteen tales in all, the title story, "Short Friday," being the love story of an old couple who revere the Sabbath and, on that Friday in early winter when the sun sets earliest, find their greatest happiness. In three of his l... more »ongest stories Mr. Singer has created memorable heroines--Risha, in "Blood," who becomes infatuated with a ritual slaughterer and ends up a kind of bestial creature herself; Yentel, in "Yentel the Yeshiva Boy," who disguises herself as a young man to enter a yeshiva and falls in love with a scholar; and Esther, in Esther Kriendel the Second," a devoted wife who finds a way even after her death to comfort her bereaved husband.
Amything can happen in an Isaac Singer story. For example, Zeidel Cohen, the greatest scholar in the province of Lubin, is tempted by intellectual pride to become the Pope ("Zeidlus the First"); a small-town prankster poses as a demon in order to seduce a good woman, and succeeds ("Taibele and Her Demon"); hidden powers work their evil wonders and prove that you should not make wishes lightly, even at Miami Beach ("Alone"); a husband humiliated by his wife's ridicule of his short stature pays her back by hiring a giant of an assistant ("Big and Little"); a religious man discovers after his wife leaves him that he can still hold her in his power ("The Fast"). In "Jachid and Jachidah" it is hard to tell whether the Earth is the world of the dead or of the living; and in "Three Tales" a glazier, a red-head, and a "periodic madman" top one another's recitals of true happenings, each more fantastic than the last.
"Under the Knife" is a long, chilling narrative of a man possessed by the single thought of vengeance; and in "Cunegunde" the private life of a witch is described in fascinating detail. A marriage feast om Brooklyn turns into a ghost story for Dr. Margolin in "A Wedding in Brownsville," while a rabbi whose congregation never gives him a minute's peace finds true serenity in "I Place Not My Reliance in Mortal Men." A first-person narrative, "The Last Demon," shows what professionals have to put up with these days, now that man himself is a demon.
These sixteen stories were chosen by Isaac Bashevis Singer from his prolific output in a genre in which he excels. They make Short Friday a rich feast for the reader.« less