Isaac Bashevis Singer
Isaac Singer was born on July 14, 1904, in Radzymin, Poland. In 1950, he published his first major novel, The Family Moskat. Afterward, he wrote a string of acclaimed short stories, including "Gimpel The Fool." In the 1960s, he wrote the "The Spinoza of Market Street." In 1978, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He continued writing until shortly before his death, on July 24, 1991, in Surfside, Florida.
Born to a family of religious Jews in Radzymin, Poland, on July 14, 1904, Isaac Bashevis Singer was raised in an overcrowded, poor Jewish quarter of Warsaw. Singer's father was a Hasidic rabbi, while his mother came from a long line of Mitnagdic rabbis. His older brother, Israel Joshua (also known as I.J.), grew up to become a novelist, and his sister, Esther Kreitman, also became a known writer.
As a youngster, Singer was a voracious reader. Benedict de Spinoza, Nikolai Gogol and Fyodor Dostoyevsky all ranked among his earliest influences.
Beginning in 1921, Singer attended the Warsaw Rabbinical Seminary, where he was provided a traditional Jewish education. Although he was being groomed to become a Hasidic rabbi like his father, Singer followed in his older brother's footsteps instead—expressing a preference to become a writer rather than a religious leader.
Two years after enrolling at the seminary, Singer left to pursue a job in journalism. After a year spent working as a journalist, proofreader and translator in Warsaw, Singer emigrated from Poland to the United States, where his brother, I.J., awaited him. Isaac took a job in New York, writing for The Jewish Daily Forward, a Yiddish newspaper with an immigrant readership. The paper published his articles in serial format. Singer's journalistic pieces were also published in numerous journals.
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