Isaac Bashevis Singer
Birthplace: Radzymin, Poland
Typewriter: Underwood Universal portable
Singer, the Yiddish writer, was born in Radzymin near Warsaw (then part of tsarist Russia). He studied in Warsaw, emigrating to the USA in 1935, where he worked as a journalist for the Jewish Daily Forward. He became a US citizen in 1943. He set his novels and short stories among the Jews of Poland, Germany, and America, combining a deep psychological insight with dramatic and visual impact. His novels include The Family Moskat (1950), The Manor (1967), The Estate (1970), and Enemies: a Love Story (1972), and he also wrote short stories and stories for children. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978.
about the typewriter:
Shortly after arriving in America in 1935, Singer purchased a typewriter with Hebrew characters modified for Yiddish. Later in life, he explained that he had a co-conspirator's relationship with the machine, describing it as a sort of alter ego, possessed by demons that monitored the quality of his work. "If this typewriter doesn't like a story, it refused to work. I don't get a man to correct it since I know if I get a good idea the machine will make peace with me again. I don't believe my own words saying this, but I've had the experience so many times that I'm really astonished. But the typewriter is forty-two years old. It should have some literary experience, it should have a mind of its own."