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A Crown of Feathers Paperback – April 1, 1981


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A Crown of Feathers + An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War That Came Between Us
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (April 1, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374516243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374516246
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Yiddish (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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"A Quotation From Klopstock" is a love story with a twist.
Ziggy, the Last of the Space Cowboys
That is appropriate, because Singer was one of the world's finest writers.
Bob Newman
A wonderful story in a wonderful collection by a wonderful writer.
An admirer of Saul

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ziggy, the Last of the Space Cowboys on January 22, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The late Isaac Bashevis Singer was a storyteller of genius, and "A Crown Of Feathers", is one of his finest collections of short stories, and because of its variety, serves as a superb intoduction to this master storyteller. This was my first Singer book. I picked it up at a garage sale some time back after reading a brief synopsis of the book and a quote stating that Isaac Bashevis Singer is the "greatest writer alive today" (this edition of the book is quite old, as Singer died in 1991).
The stories had two qualities which I found highly enjoyable. Firstly, Singer's combination of modern realism with Jewish folklore and fantasy is what first got me hooked, as I myself am Jewish and have a great interest in our religion, folklore and mythology. Secondly, the simple, direct style in which the stories were written. It was as if Singer himself was sitting in front of me telling a story. The book certainly did not disapoint and I finished it in a matter of days. It was such an enthralling read, that I raided most the second-hand book shops in the neighbourhood for Singer books. Now I have quite a large Singer collection of both novels and short stories - all of them works of art in their own right. This collection of twenty-four stories is varied - ghost stories, fables set in little Polish-Jewish villages and stories set in pre-World War II Warsaw and post-World War II New York. Although most of the stories have a distinctly Jewish flavour, many of the themes, including love, lust, politics, greed and family life are universal. Some of the tales end in twists, which can often leave you surprised or spooked, not that this is a bad thing, of course.
My favourite stories are as follows: "A Crown Of Feathers" is a phantasmagoric tale of a young woman losing and then trying to regain her faith.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Crawford on May 16, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Singer is a genius at creating tiny worlds, self-ecapsulated and yet part of a wider whole, as if subject to immutable laws of nature. You could argue that all of his characters are subtly different or that all of them are the same, so perfect is each world. There is also a unique mixture of realism and mysticism, the unseen world that operates behind appearences and yet is never fully explained. Simply brilliant.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
A collection of 25 short stories, each containing a mystical element and full of Bashevis Singers unequalled telling of the struggle between the old world orthodox Judaism and its trust in the Messiah coming, and the new worldly Jews living in a new and ever more volatile world.
Yet still Bashevis Singer explores the age old questions; why are we here ? Is creation an accident; all chance with a strictly scientific base ? What is truth ? (As Bashevis Singer says; if it does exist it is as intricate and hidden as in a crown of feathers !)
The stand out story, for me, is 'Grandfather and Grandson' where an unworldly and god fearing old Jew, Reb Morecai Meir, takes in his grandson, a young socialist revolutionary who believes in political solutions-not divine-to bring justice to the people. It encapsulates all that Bashevis Singer is about. A wonderful story in a wonderful collection by a wonderful writer. Stories to read, absorb and enjoy and learn humanity from.
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