THE SPINOZA OF MARKET STREET
“These stories are solidly set in the Old Country and Singer is trying to recreate the world that vanished shortly after the Nazis invaded Poland.
This collection of eleven masterful stories has established Singer's reputation with discerning readers as the most brilliant representative of the Yiddish language in prose and one of the important contemporary writers in America.
The effects of these stories, translated by various hands, range from the pathetically touching to the profoundly moving. The author delights in mimicking the gauche naivete of folk narrative. But this seeming artlessness--like that of a well-wrought ballad-is intentional, sophisticated and artful in the highest degree.
In the lowliest characters and the most commonplace situations Singer is able somehow to decipher the message that this world is governed by mysterious powers, often divine, occasionally diabolical. The people in his pages are emissaries of these powers. The writer strikes through the mask of human beings who look simple on the surface and discovers unfathomable depths below depths.
This penetrating vision is embodied in a spare and distinguished style.”
~From a review by Milton Hindus in the New York Times, October 22, 1961