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Library of the Jewish People

The Collected Works of Israel Joshua Singer Vol 2: 1938-1944

The Collected Works of Israel Joshua Singer Vol 2: 1938-1944

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In this volume, Singer’s two last novels, East of Eden (1938) and The Family Carnovsky (1940-1941), are followed by his memoir, Of A World That is No More (1944). As in his first novel, East of Eden is a scathing rebuke of prevalent ideologies, not sparing the Jewish spiritual practices of Poland or the catastrophic Soviet implementation of socialist ideas, graphically illustrated by the relationships among the characters. But in his last novel, The Family Carnovsky, a family saga spanning 50 years that appeared at the height of Nazi power, Singer suggests that, despite the hopes that accompanied the Haskala, Jews could not escape their fate and traditions by seeking to assimilate with those who continued to reject them. Finally, Of A World That Is No More appeared as a serialized memoir of Singer’s childhood in Poland until the age of 14. The critique of Jewish life that permeates his fiction is also evident in this memoir but is tempered by his mourning for the world that has been destroyed.

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