"LOVE COMES FROM THE SOUL AND THE SOUL RADIATES LIGHT": FIRST EDITION OF I.B. SINGER'S POWER OF LIGHT, 1980, FEATURING EIGHT HANUKKAH STORIES, INSCRIBED BY SINGER AND ILLUSTRATOR IRENE LIEBLICH
SINGER, Isaac Bashevis. The Power of Light. Eight Stories for Hanukkah… with illustrations by Irene Lieblich. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, (1980). Quarto, original blue paper boards, dust jacket. $500.
First edition of this richly illustrated volume of eight Hanukkah stories for children by Nobel laureate Singer, inscribed on the half title by him, "Best Wishes, I.B. Singer," along with illustrator's inscription, dated the year of publication, "With best wishes Irene Lieblich 1980," with color frontispiece and eight color plates from Lieblich's evocative "Chagallesque paintings," a fine copy.
In Power of Light, "Singer gives us one delightful tale for each of the eight candles burned in the nine-branched candelabrum, the ninth, so tradition has it, signifying the love and light one is enjoined to bestow on others, while the eight others signify the miracle by which one day's supply of consecrated oil burned amazingly in the rededicated Temple for eight days. Singer's luminous tales, like most of his stories and novels, are, with a single exception, set in his own vanished world of Eastern European Jewry… the world destroyed forever in the Holocaust and which by the power of art live immortally in the work of its greatest writers… Irene Lieblich's accompanying Chagallesque paintings capture with extraordinary delicacy and evocative subtlety exactly the heartwarming blend of love and nostalgia" (Christian Science Monitor). Power of Light was published two years after Singer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his impassioned narrative art which, with roots in a Polish-Jewish cultural tradition, brings universal human conditions to life" (Nobel Foundation). With "First edition, 1980" on copyright page. Containing color frontispiece, along with eight full- and double-page illustrations from paintings by Irene Lieblich.
A fine copy.