Gimpel the Fool And Other Stories

Isaac Bashevis Singer; Introduction by Allegra Goodman; Translated by Saul Bellow

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

224 Pages



Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy
Singer's first collection of stories, Gimpel the Fool, is a landmark of world literature and attracted international attention when it was first published in 1957. The title story, translated by Saul Bellow, follows the exploits of Gimpel, an ingenuous baker, who is universally deceived but declines to retaliate. Other protagonists are not so innocent. Hodle, of "The Gentleman from Cracow," is wed to Ketev Mriri, Chief of the Devils, and Nathan, of "The Unseen," leaves his wife for a demon in the form of a young woman. Enlightened or condemned, all characters inhabit the pre-World War II ghettos of Poland, and take shape in Singer's distinctive prose.


Praise for Gimpel the Fool

"When I first read Gimpel the Fool . . . I felt not only that I was reading an extraordinarily beautiful and witty story, but that I was moving through as many historical levels as an archeologist at work . . . It is the integrity of the human imagination that Singer conveys so beautifully."—Alfred Kazin, The New Leader

"Singer is a genius. He has total command of his imagined world."—Irving Howe, The New Republic

"A peerless storyteller, Singer restores the sheer enchantment with story, with outcome, with what-happens-next that has been denied most readers since their adolescence."—David Boroff, Saturday Review

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-91) was the author of many novels, stories, and children's books. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978.

Read the full excerpt