• The sentimental education of Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • The sentimental education of Isaac Bashevis Singer

The sentimental education of Isaac Bashevis Singer


Isaac Bashevis Singer, born in 1902 in Warsaw to a rabbi and the daughter of a rabbi, was a prolific and celebrated writer whose career spanned over six decades. His writing often depicted the world of Eastern European Jewry, blending elements of folklore, mysticism, and realism.

In the mid-1970s, Singer and a friend, the illustrator Ira Moskowitz, decided to collaborate on a book about Jewish mysticism. Although Farrar, Straus and Giroux was Singer’s longtime publisher, they passed on the project, and Moskowitz brought it to Doubleday, where Eve Roshevsky was an editorial assistant reporting to the head of the Religion department, Alex Leipa. Leipa assigned Roshevsky to be Singer’s personal amanuensis: she reported later that it was a case of being “in the right place (and right religion) at the same time.”

This archive, which was preserved by Eve Roshevsky, contains a collection of documents related to Isaac Bashevis Singer and Love in Exile. It includes an autograph letter from Singer and Ira Moskowitz to Eva Roshevsky expressing excitement about collaborating with Doubleday on Singer’s biography, illustrated tearsheets from A Little Boy in Search of God, assorted draft pages from the same book, a partial typescript draft of A Young Man in Search of Love, and an autograph letter making lunch plans. Additionally, there's an autograph holiday card from Alma Singer to Eva Roshevsky with an autograph addition by Isaac Bashevis Singer, a heavily edited partial typescript draft of Lost in America, and several autograph letters to Eve Roshevsky discussing editorial planning, Singer's health, and travel plans. The collection also includes a manuscript author’s note to Love and Exile along with an illustrated napkin featuring two profile portraits of Singer.