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GREAT JEWISH BOOKS LECTURE | Magical Thinking: Isaac Bashevis Singer’s novel, "The Magician of Lublin" with Anita Norich
"The Magician of Lublin" is the story of a performer who, like Houdini, is adept at getting himself out of seemingly impossible situations including affairs with several women, poverty, criminality, and more. I.B. Singer wrote in Yiddish under the name Yitzhak Bashevis (and other pen names), an adaptation of his mother’s name taken in order to distinguish himself from his brother, I.J. Singer, who brought him to the U.S. in 1935. By the time he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978, his work had been translated into dozens of languages. The Yiddish novel "Der kuntsnmakher fun Lublin" was serialized in "Forverts" in 1959 and published in English in 1960.

In this talk, Professor Anita Norich will explore the questions Bashevis Singer poses in the novel about sin, evil, faith, and the choices available to Jews living in the modern world.

The Great Jewish Books Lecture Series gives learners of all ages the opportunity to delve into great works of Jewish literature with top scholars in the field. Each month, a speaker presents a virtual talk focusing on an author or work, followed by a Q&A with the audience. These talks span a wide variety of literary subjects, presenting works written in many languages from classic Yiddish texts to contemporary Jewish American writing.

The Great Jewish Books Lecture Series is made possible with the generous support of the Salkind Family Foundation in memory of Marilyn Salkind.

Apr 13, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Anita Norich
Anita Norich is collegiate professor emerita of English and Judaic studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author of "Writing in Tongues: Yiddish Translation in the 20th Century" (2013); "Discovering Exile: Yiddish and Jewish American Literature in America During the Holocaust" (2007); and "The Homeless Imagination in the Fiction of Israel Joshua Singer" (1991); translator of Kadya Molodovsky’s "Fun Lublin biz Nyu York" (2019); and co-editor of "Languages of Modern Jewish Cultures: Comparative Perspectives" (2016), "Jewish Literatures and Cultures: Context and Intertext" (2008), and "Gender and Text in Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literatures" (1992). She translates Yiddish literature and teaches, lectures, and publishes on a range of topics concerning modern Jewish cultures, Yiddish language and literature, Jewish American literature, and Holocaust literature.