A Guide to 668 Tales Listing Subjects and Sources, 2d ed.
Author: Sharon Barcan Elswit
Category: Social Science
Storytelling, as oral tradition and in writing, has long played a central role in Jewish society. Family, educators, and clergy employ stories to transmit Jewish culture, traditions, and values. This comprehensive bibliography identifies 668 Jewish folktales by title and subject, summarizing plot lines for easy access to the right story for any occasion. Some centuries old and others freshly imagined, the tales include animal fables, supernatural yarns, and anecdotes for festivals and holidays. Themes include justice, community, cause and effect, and mitzvahs, or good deeds. This second edition nearly doubles the number of stories and expands the guide’s global reach, with new pieces from Turkey, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, and Chile. Subject cross-references and a glossary complete the volume, a living tool for understanding the ever-evolving world of Jewish folklore.
A Guide to 363 Tales, Listing Subjects and Sources
Author: Sharon Elswit
Publisher: McFarland Publishing
Category: Literary Criticism
A subject guide to hundreds of Jewish stories, this book's purpose is to help teachers, rabbis, librarians, folklorists, parents, and storytellers find the right story to match their need. It also will lead educators to a wealth of Jewish stories on universal themes for use in multicultural programs for all ages. The stories are numbered for easy reference and grouped in broad categories--for example, God, faith, and prayer; rabbinic wit and wisdom; tricksters and fools; festivals and holidays. For each story, a list of tellings (author and book title) provides numerous options for the story seeker, and a list of keywords connects the story subject categories. Two cross-referenced indexes make locating stories easy, whether by subject keywords or by title. An appendix lists recommended stories for children of different ages, from lower elementary through middle school. The bibliography of almost 200 story collections and picture-book tales gives the information needed to locate a source for every story in the book.
Isaac Bashevis Singer loved to give interviews. He was famous for encouraging interruptions of the solitary task of writing. These twenty-four welcomed interruptions are representative of the many he allowed over a twenty-five-year period. Included here are his conversations with such interviewers as Irving Howe, Laurie Colwin, Richard Burgin, and Herbert R. Lottman. In these talks Singer discusses the nature of his writing, its ethnic roots, his demonology, the importance of free will, and the place of storytelling in human life. The interviews with Singer reveal both his impish sense of humor and a determination that sustained him through many years of limited acclaim and comparative neglect by critics. Yiddishists often faulted him for refusing to use his talent as a force for change in the world, Jewish readers often deplored his use of pre-Enlightenment folk material, and academics could not take too seriously a writer who insisted on telling stories that emphasized plot and character. Yet he was not deterred from his astonishing and beloved work, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize.
In his acceptance speech for the 1978 Nobel Prize for Literature, Isaac Bashevis Singer spoke of children as the ideal literary audience. His comments bespoke his own commitment, in the final years of a long and prolific career, to writing stories for children. It was in 1966 at age 62 that Singer wrote "Zlatch the Goat," which garnered the first of the author's two Newbery Medals, the highest honor in children's literature. Isaac Bashevis Singer: Children's Stories and Childhood Memoirs is the first study focused exclusively on Singer's works for children. Alida Allison presents Singer's accomplishments in children's literature as the culmination of his career. She incorporates insights gained in interviews with Singer's widow and editors and makes extensive reference to existing documents on the author's life, in particular the autobiographies of his siblings. Allison's study is notable for its consideration of the illustrators and translators who worked closely with Singer. The varied approaches to his mysticism and realism taken by his illustrators - some of the world's best known - wonderfully extend and enhance his stories.