The Seance and Other Stories

The Seance and Other Stories, by Isaac Bashevis Singer



"This collection of stories combines a rich and real past with mystical and occult states, the spiritual and the sexual, the grotesque and the mundane, the supernatural and the ordinary. 

The mysterious is the extension of reality into another realm. The inexplicable may also be the comprehensible. Mr. Singer does not apologize or defend the mysterious. It is enough that his people experience it. But the details and the course of these tales are not enough. They always mean something more, even if the precise meaning is elusive. Mr. Singer starts less with character or even situations than with a point of view. He is really a maker of parables. 

The most earthly story has a heavenly point. That is why even the slimmest of his sketches suggests something larger than itself and the best of the tales (both kinds are included) have such powers of suggestion that the reader stops to think back on what he has read or returns to catch a phrase or passage he had slighted in passing. 

It's a game in a way and Mr. Singer is among the most playful of contemporary novelists. What prevents this quality from becoming tedious or mannered is the recognizable reality he brings to his fiction and the literary inventiveness that is always ready to supply an aphorism, a learned aside, a thought worth pondering.”
~From a review by Thomas Lask in the New York Times, November 9, 1968

Published by MacMillan.