Gimpel the Fool Background

Gimpel the Fool Background

Gimpel the Fool is a short story written by Polish American writer Isaac Bashevis Singer. It was the work that put Singer on the literary map; having previously written predominantly in Yiddish, this story was translated into English by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Saul Bellow, and after this, and the success of the story, his work was published in both Yiddish and English at the same time.

Here, Singer tells the story of a simple breadmaker who lives in a small Polish village, and who has a surprisingly gullible trust in people. Because of this, and his tendency to be extraordinarily gullible, he is seen as a fool, but the author uses the narrative to contend that being a person of extraordinary faith is not a bad thing, and it is only in the context of the judgement of other people that he is seen to be a fool. The themes of the story include faith and religion.

Gimple the Fool is included in a collection of short stories that is also provides the title to. He was awarded to U.S. National Book Awards, one in fiction for his collection of short stories, A Crown of Feathers and on in Children's Literature for A Day of Pleasure, a memoir of his childhood.

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