Isaac Bashevis Singer

King of the Fields
  • King of the Fields

  • From the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Isaac Bashevis Singer, comes a fictional exploration of primitive history. Singer's novel portrays an era of superstition and violence in a country emerging from the darkness of savagery. Set in Poland in the dark ages, it describes the brutality, prejudice and subjugation that occur when hunter-gatherers and farmers struggle for supremacy over the land. Part parable of modern civilization, part fascinating historical novel, this modern myth is a philosophical examination of man and his beliefs, and reaffirms the author's reputation as a master of narrative invention.

Isaac Bashevis Singer was born in 1904, in Poland, the son of a rabbi. Fleeing fascism in 1935, he emigrated to America, penniless and knowing little English. 'I think that the whole of human history is one big Holocaust,' he said in 1987, when asked why there was no direct mention of the Holocaust in his fiction. 'It is not only Jewish history. We can call human history the history of the human Holocaust'. Singer's fiction - novels such as The Family Moskat (1950) and The Magician of Lublin (1960), and story collections such as Gimpel the Fool (1957) and The Spinoza of Market Street (1961) - became admired internationally and he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1978. He died in 1998.