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Isaac Bashevis Singer: The Slave

(Fiction, 311 pp. Yiddish, 1962; English translation, 1962)

Jacob, a pogrom survivor who has been sold as a slave to Polish peasants, lives a simple life in a remote village. Contrary to both Jewish and secular law, he falls in love with the daughter of his Christian owner, and together they begin a new life in another shtetl. Set in 17th century Poland, this dark and passionate allegory is considered Singer’s most lyrical and well-constructed novel.