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Shosha

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  1,395 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
Shosha is a hauntingly lyrical love story set in Jewish Warsaw on the eve of its annihilation. Aaron Greidinger, an aspiring Yiddish writer and the son of a distinguished Hasidic rabbi, struggles to be true to his art when faced with the chance at riches and a passport to America. But as he and the rest of the Writers' Club wait in horror for Nazi Germany to invade Poland, ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published April 30th 1996 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1978)
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Ahmed
Oct 05, 2014 Ahmed rated it really liked it
المجتمع اليهودي مجتمع مثير , تحب تسمع حكاياته , تقرأ تاريخه , تشاهد الأفلام الى تتخذه موضوع لها , ليس شرط أن تحب هذا المجتمع , بل إن إثارته هى من ضمنت له نجاح تلك الأعمال .
فتاريخ تلك الأمة (اليهودية) بأحداثه وشتى ما تعرضوا له من ظلم وكثرة ما اقترفوه من جرائم (الفرع الصهيونى بالذات) والغرابة التى تخص تلك الأمة ضمنت له البقاء مقاوماً كافة الظروف المضادة له.
المهم أننا لن نكثر القول فتاريخ تلك الأمة اكثر تعقيداً من أن نحتويه حتى لو فى مجلدات , فنحن هنا نتحدث عن رواية من الطراز الرفيع , رواية أعتقد م
...more
arcobaleno
Jun 06, 2012 arcobaleno rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una storia d'amore
Leggo nella "descrizione del libro": "Shosha" può essere letto in molti modi: come la parabola dell'ebreo sradicato, come la storia di un'educazione sentimentale, come il viaggio iniziatico di un artista, ma forse il modo più giusto è proposto dallo stesso autore. Alla domanda "Che storia è quella narrata in Shosha?" Singer rispose: "Una storia d'amore".
Non ricordo con precisione in quale dei modi indicati io l’abbia letto (più di trent’anni fa), ma, per il ricordo dolce e am
...more
Lewis Weinstein
UPDATE 4/16/15 ...

I'm going to read this again, trying to capture the mid-1930s Poland that my characters (in my new novel) are currently living in.

***



Singer, writing in 1978, presents many poignant details of Jewish life in Warsaw in 1939, just before Hitler came.

There is a pervading sense of the imminent destruction of an entire way of life ... in the Yeshivas they studied the Talmud ... so long as Hitler - his name should be blotted out - did not attack, each day was a gift from God ... No o
...more
Rich
Aug 09, 2012 Rich rated it it was amazing
First off, thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law, Jo Jackson, for my fathers' day present of Isaac Bashevis Singer. I said once that I like the feeling of finishing an author's first (to me) book, and feeling like we've just started on a long, probably lifetime relationship. That's how I feel about this amazing book. Unbelievably beautiful and poignant and the tiniest bit triumphant (kaynahora) and resilient. My favorite quote:
For a long time Shosha didn’t speak. Then she said, “Arele, I miss Yp
...more
Rosenkavalier
Apr 27, 2014 Rosenkavalier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Varsavia in dagherrotipo

Quando ho iniziato a leggere Shosha, le prime pagine non mi convincevano.
Singer racconta una storia che è in larga parte la sua (molti elementi sono esplicitamente biografici). Accumula nomi, personaggi, dettagli di luoghi, usanze, riferimenti geografici.
Ho avuto l’impressione di leggere l’opera di un bozzettista, un memorialista nostalgico. Non è il mio genere. Fortunatamente, ho proseguito.

In effetti, le immagini di Singer scorrono davanti agli occhi rapidamente, come s
...more
Lio
Aug 17, 2011 Lio rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
الرواية ذات مستوى فنّي جيّد
تحكي قصة يهودي بولندي إبان الحرب العالمية الثانية ومذابح هتلر
عند طبع الرواية طرحت جدلية كبيرة حول هل تطبع الروايات ذات التوجه الصهيوني الواضح -مثل هذه الرواية- وساق القوميون الحجج على أن هذا شكل من أشكال التطبيع.. لكن في وجهة نظري أن الأمر ليس كذلك يخيّل إلي أن الذين يدافعون عن القضيّة الفلسطينية بعفوية ولم يطرحوا هذا النضال خارج إطار أسرتهم والذي غالباً لم يجدوا غير الموافقة على توجههم المعادي للصهيونية -غالباً- فإنهم سيصدمون صدمة حقيقية بأسئلة وحجج تطرحها عليهم هذا
...more
Karen Codner
Jan 03, 2011 Karen Codner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sorprendente
Lo leí en español, como siempre, uno esperaría leer en yiddish, debemos perder tanta riqueza de la lectura por el mero hecho de intentar reproducir en un idioma tan diferente lo que Bashevis Singer nos propone. La edición que yo leí trae un comentario de Alan Lelchuk autor de "Sexo, Tora y revolución". Altamente recomendable y también un extracto del discurso de B. Singer cuando recibió el novel.
Es notable en B.Singer como nos puede contar cien y más veces una realidad desde diferentes puntos de
...more
Mahmoud
رواية لطيفة
تعتبر سيرة ذاتية لراويها أو كاتبها أو ربما ليست كذلك
بيحكى الراوى حياته منذ كان طفل فى بولندا فى حى اليهود
أبوه حاخام وهو من طفولته كان متماشى مع الجو الدينى ده
وأحب الكتابة وعاصر الفترة النازية وهرب لأمريكا
وفى النهاية أستقر فى الكيان الصهيونى

ليها هوامش كتيرة فى آخر الكتاب
مليان إصطلاحات يهودية وأسماء مفكرين غربيين

من حيث هى رواية فهى ممتعة وبسيطة وأسلوبها مشوق
أحداثها عادية وغير مشوقة ولا حاجة .. حياة كاتب
ومن حيث هى كتاب وموسوعة مختصرة عن اليهودية واليهود فى بولندا حتى اليوم
Ash
May 12, 2015 Ash rated it really liked it
Shelves: jewish-lit
This book has personal relevance to me. My grandfather was a Polish Jew who fled to Cuba, but his siblings and parents perished in Poland. My favorite aspects of this book where the descriptions of Jewish life in Polish cities and small towns leading up to WWII. I found the descriptions of the various bickering political organizations humorous, and they reminded me of why my grandfather was wary of politics. This book tells a hard story but not one without the magical realism of everyday life.
El
Jun 10, 2008 El rated it really liked it
Growing up in Warsaw Aaron (Arele) Greidinger was the son of a prominent Hasidic rabbi. His life was surrounded by books and scrolls, he lived and breathed the Jewish law. He befriended Shosha, a young simple girl living in his building. Their life was surrounded by adventurous stories and Aaron's imagination. When his family moves several blocks away their friendship ends as it would be inappropriate for the son of a Hasidic rabbi to venture to her neighborhood for a visit.

Years later Aaron is
...more
Wendy Bousfield
I was glad to finish this novel! What a relief to leave the company of Singer’s aimless, mysogynistic, pretentious narrator! The Singer scholar who recommended the book told me it was an autobiographical novel that “whitewashed” the Singer character. Did the real Singer act in a more irresponsible, distasteful manner than his protagonist?

Aaron is the son of a Polish Rabbi. His earliest memories are of Krochmalna Street, a poor Hasidic community in Warsaw. Growing up during the privations of Worl
...more
Rick
Feb 02, 2008 Rick rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Very good novel of Poland in the days prior to Hitler’s invasion in 1939. The main character is a Jewish writer, Arele Greidinger, who travels in both the secular Jewish world of Warsaw’s political and literary circles and the ghetto Hasidim in which he was raised. “I was brought up on three dead languages—Hebrew, Aramaic, and Yiddish (some consider the last not a language at all)—and in a culture that developed in Babylon: the Talmud.” Singer wrote many of his works like Dickens did, in serial ...more
Dusty
Apr 19, 2008 Dusty rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dusty by: Diane Panozzo
What is this book about? That question defies answering. It is about the Holocaust, though the book's first 260 pages take place in Poland before Hitler's invasion, and the remaining 20 take place in Tel Aviv over a decade after. It is about the Jews who lived in Warsaw in the years before their ghettoization and deportation to concentration camps, but all of these are secondary characters in the book, and those two historical events are only described in passing in the epilogue. It is about a s ...more
Jo
May 19, 2012 Jo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading-again, poland
I love this book.

Initially, childlike naive Shosha irritated me, and she even made me think that Arele/Tsutsik, the narrator, was a bit of a pervert - what kind of man marries a physically underdeveloped woman with such severe learning difficulties that she can't read or manage simple household tasks independently? But Shosha grows, and so does Arele, though not in such a straightforward way.

It's set in Poland, amongst Arele's circle of Jewish intellectuals and theatre people. He's cast off his
...more
Urangoo
Jul 23, 2009 Urangoo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Хүний амьдрал ихэвчлэн нэгэн голидрол орж урсгалаараа явдаг нь яг голыг санагдуулна. Гэхдээ гол ч гэсэн зүгээр нэг урсаад байдаггүй үерлэж, эргээсээ хальж, тасарч, газар доогуур шургадаг. Ямар нэг гадны хүчний нөлөөгөөр хүний амьдрал ч өөрчлөгддөг шүү дээ. Тэр хүчнүүдийн нэг нь дайн байвал... Аймшигтай... Ийм зүйл бидний амьдралд битгий тохиолдоосой гэж бодогдоод... Энэ нэг талаар ая тухаа алдахгүй байхын хүссэн хүсэл шүү дээ.

"Хүн болгон гедонист гэдэн нь ойлгомжтой. Өлгийд байхаасаа эхлээд авс
...more
Kristen
Jul 16, 2013 Kristen rated it liked it
I secretly hoped that Singer would write like Potok did. Of course that is a ridiculous thing to want. He had an even simpler style than Potok, but it grew on me. This was quite a tragic story, but the hope still was present at the end of the book, very quietly.

In both Singer and Potok's books, I find elements of my religious life that I connect with very deeply. Namely, that the existence of both light and dark within a religion is the very thing that makes it alive--a living entity. The confl
...more
Ffiamma
Jun 03, 2014 Ffiamma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
è un amore sgraziato, incomprensibile, ingenuo, mistico quello tra aron e shosha- che pervade tutto il libro, straripa e corre parallelo con l'amore per un mondo ormai scomparso- quello della varsavia prebellica, con le sue miserie, le sue contraddizioni, i suoi sfarzi poi spazzati via dall'invasione nazista. è un libro di donne questo romanzo- oltre a shosha ci sono sua madre bashele, dora, betty, celia, tekla: tutte diverse fra loro, tutte inquiete e preda di pulsioni, fermenti, ideali, sconfo ...more
Vera
Apr 16, 2013 Vera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jewish
Aaron Greidinger - a former cheder and yeshiva student, now a writer in Warsaw shortly before the Second World War - meets after an almost two decades separation his childhood love Shosha. At twenty-seven, due to some mysterious illness, she is still locked in the body of a child. Also mentally she has hardly developed any further since the last time he saw her. Nevertheless, she gives him the warmth and the security he couldn't find in his numerous affairs.

The novel has partly autobiographical
...more
Tracey
Jun 29, 2009 Tracey rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the first half of this book more than the last half. It is a rather odd story about a Jewish writer in Warsaw in pre-WWII. I imagine the book depicts well a segment of Warsaw life at that time. Lots of examples of the dark underbelly of humanity. It certainly demonstrated the depth of denial people had if they didn't want to grapple with the reality of the encroaching Nazis. I felt the ending was abrupt and left me hanging. I didn't feel the characters were well developed. Since anothe ...more
Lloyd Scott
Oct 30, 2009 Lloyd Scott rated it really liked it

I was concerned when I picked this book up because it was by Isaac Bashevis Singer and I always got the impression that his novels were a bit difficult to read, but after reading it a little in the bookstore I bought it and I loved it. I paid attention to every detail and I loved the book as well as the main character Shosha, I am surprised that no one has tried to make this book into a film it was really an enjoyable read. Years later when I dated my first wife, as it turned out she also read t
...more
Marwan
Jun 30, 2014 Marwan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
الكتاب يتناول فترة فبيل دخول هتلر بولندا و يجكى توجس اليهود من هذا الأحتلال و يصور حياة المجتمع اليهودى فى هذا البلد من جوانب عديدة و يهتم أساسا بحياة البسطاء منهم بالتحديد .
هذا كتاب جديد على المكتبة العربية ليس فقط لأنه يناقش قضية قوم لا نشعر تجاههم بأى تعاطف بل لأنه فى النهاية يتبنى وجهة نظر معادية لنا (صهيونية) . و هذا يعتبر تفتح غير مسبوق فى سياسات النشر قى بلادنا. عوضا عن ما سبق الكتاب يحتوى على كم هائل من المعلومات عن اليهود و تاريخهم و حياتهم و عقائدهم بالذات فى حواشى الكتاب الشديدة الث
...more
Motaz Soliman
Jan 03, 2013 Motaz Soliman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
شوشا
طول عمرنا بنقرى عن اليهود
دي أول تجربة ليا اني اقرى ليهودي و بيحكي عن قة حياة يهودي "حسيدي" متدين ملتزم او المفترض فيه ذلك او متربي في بيت كده
نجمة للموضوع
نجمة للشخصيات
نجمة للحبكة
نجمة لأسلوب السرد
نجمة للمعلومات يخرب بيته بجد كنز معلومات عن حاجات اول مرة اسمع عنها
يستحق الخمس نجوم بدون أي مبالغه
حقيقي استمتعت خاصة بالبطلة
شوشيل الجميلة
بجد عالم تاني خالص
Joana Doko
Sep 18, 2014 Joana Doko rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this book. One of the best books I have ever read.
Daniela
Jeder Mensch trägt einen Feind in sich, der ihm Böses antut.

Moira
Jun 25, 2011 Moira rated it really liked it
So...I ended up acquiring this book for 50 cents and thought, hey...why not.

I have to say, I really enjoyed reading it, up until the final chapter--which is what fored me to give the book only 4 stars, as I believe the ending is something to be seen as significant. It's an interesting, first-person narrative from a fictional Arele Greidinger (sp?), who lives in Warsaw in the years prior to Hitler's invasion (as I understand it--I'm not incredibly familiar with the dates of this history).

He end
...more
Cynthia Naomi
May 25, 2010 Cynthia Naomi rated it really liked it
The main characters are the playwright Tsutsie, a Jewish guy who had decided to be quite different from his conventional Jewish family, and Shosha, his best friend who is a midget Jewish youngster. Shosha is romantically the title of the book as the cover of everything for him, some sort of a co-author of his own life together with Isaac Bashevis Singer. Shosha is like a short name to Shoshana, a female name that is lasting since such biblical times, stands for both Jewish and Christian womankin ...more
Mark Beyer
Nov 30, 2012 Mark Beyer rated it liked it
The eponymous woman in this story of hardship and redemption, is Shosha, once a little girl who looked forward to marrying Aaron, a neighborhood boy, but who lost contact with him when his family moved to a different part of Warsaw. Aaron, an aspiring writer, is beset with bad ideas, until one day a rich American and his actress wife come to town. In the few years remaining before Adolph Hitler plunges the world into war—and the Polish Jews into concentration camps—Aaron reunites with Shosha, an ...more
Erez Davidi
Sep 08, 2015 Erez Davidi rated it liked it
“Shosha” seems like a promising novel. The story takes place in Warsaw before the Nazis invaded Poland. In the center of the story is Aaron Greidinger, a Jewish writer. At an young age, he falls in love with Shosha even though she is inferior to him intellectually. After they go their separate ways and after a considerable amount of love affairs, to the amazement of his friends and former lovers, Greidinger marries Shosha, who remained an underdeveloped woman-child. All of this happens on the ba ...more
Lee Kofman
Oct 25, 2015 Lee Kofman rated it liked it
This is a chauvinistic/narcissistic novel by a writer whose main male characters in this and other novels often resemble himself and always have many women at once in love with them, no matter how repulsive or hapless they might be. I found the emotional story forced, unconvincing. But I did enjoy the evocation of life in poor Jewish quarters in Poland on the eve of Nazi invasion and Bashevis Singer is good at describing the helpless, passive terror many Jews experienced in those days. I also lo ...more
Sadie
Aug 25, 2007 Sadie rated it liked it
Most synopses describe this book as a love story (The back cover says 'a hauntingly lyrical love story') but to me this is far from a story of love. It is more a story of devotion and the fatalistic push of life.

Singer's characters are very vivid and well developed and I think one of the strengths of the story. That being said, the character of Shosha, the childhood love of the main character who remains a child through the years is uninspiring and frankly irritating. The meaning I took from he
...more
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Isaac Bashevis Singer was a Polish American author of Jewish descent, noted for his short stories. He was one of the leading figures in the Yiddish literary movement, and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978.
His memoir, "A Day Of Pleasure: Stories of a Boy Growing Up in Warsaw", won the U.S. National Book Award in Children's Literature in 1970, while his collection "A Crown of Feathers
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“In the half darkness I winked to my other self, my mad dictator, and congratulated him on his droll victory. I closed my eyes and felt the warmth flowing from Shosha's head to my face. What did I have to lose? Nothing more than what everyone loses anyway.” 7 likes
“— Куда ушли все эти годы? Кто будет по мнить их после того, как уйдем и мы? Писатели будут писать, но они все перевернут вверх ногами. Должно же быть место, где все останется, до мельчайших подробностей. Пускай нам говорят, что мухи попадают в паутину и паук их высасывает досуха. Во Вселенной существует такое, что не может быть забыто. Если все можно забыть, Вселенную не стоило и создавать. Вы понимаете меня или нет?
— Да, Геймл.
— Цуцик, это ваши слова!
— Не помню, чтобы я это говорил.
— Вы не помните, а я помню. Я помню все, что сказал Морис, сказали вы, сказала Селия. Временами вы говорили забавные глупости, и их я помню тоже. Если Бог есть мудрость, то как может существовать глупость? А если Бог есть жизнь, то как может существовать смерть? Я лежу ночью, маленький человечек, полураздавленное насекомое, и говорю со смертью, с живыми, с Богом, если Он есть, и с Сатаной, который уж определенно существует. Я спрашиваю у них: "Зачем нужно, чтобы все это существовало?" — и жду ответа. Как вы думаете, Цуцик, есть где-нибудь ответ или нет?
— Нет. Нет ответа.
— Почему же нет?
— Не может быть оправданий для страданий — и для страдальцев его тоже нет.
— Тогда чего же я жду?
Геня отворила дверь:
— Что вы сидите в темноте, хотела бы я знать?
Геймл улыбнулся:
— Мы ждем ответа.”
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