Enemies, A Love Story

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Enemies, A Love Story
First English edition
AuthorIsaac Bashevis Singer
Original titleSonim, di Geshichte fun a Liebe
TranslatorAliza Shevrin and Elizabeth Shrub
CountryUnited States
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date
Published in English
Media typePrint (Paperback & Hardback)
Pages228 pp

Enemies, A Love Story (Yiddish: Sonim, di Geshichte fun a Liebe‎) is a novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer first published serially in the Jewish Daily Forward in 1966. The English translation was published in 1972.[citation needed]

Plot summary[edit]

Set in New York City in 1949, the novel follows Holocaust survivor Herman Broder. Throughout the war he survived in a hayloft, taken care of by his non-Jewish, Polish servant, Yadwiga, whom he later takes as his wife in America. Meanwhile, he has an affair with another Holocaust survivor, Masha. To Yadwiga, he poses as a traveling book-salesman despite the fact he is simply a ghost writer for a corrupt rabbi. He wanders about New York with a constant paranoia and perpetual desperation, made more complicated when his first wife from Poland, Tamara, who was thought to be killed in the Holocaust, comes to New York.


An eponymous film, based on the book and directed by Paul Mazursky, was released in 1989. The Manhattan apartment building with a curved, ivory facade in the movie is The Paterno,[citation needed] located at the intersection of Riverside Drive and 116th Street.

The novel was adapted as an opera by Ben Moore; it premiered at Palm Beach Opera in 2015.[1]