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A Blessing on the Moonby Joseph Skibell
Synopses & Reviews
Joseph Skibell's magical tale about the Holocaust-a fable inspired by fact-received unanimous nationwide acclaim when first published in 1997.
At the center of A Blessing on the Moon is Chaim Skibelski. Death is merely the beginning of Chaim's troubles. In the opening pages, he is shot along with the other Jews of his small Polish village. But instead of resting peacefully in the World to Come, Chaim, for reasons unclear to him, is left to wander the earth, accompanied by his rabbi, who has taken the form of a talking crow. Chaim's afterlife journey is filled with extraordinary encounters whose consequences are far greater than he realizes.
Not since art Spiegelman's Maus has a work so powerfully evoked one of the darkest moments of the twentieth century with such daring originality.
"Brilliant . . . Astonishing." The Boston Globe
"Startlingly original . . . Recalls the dark, hallucinatory world of Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird while at the same time surpassing it." The Washington Post
"A compelling tour de force, a surreal but thoroughly accessible page-turner." Houston Chronicle
"As magical as it is macabre." The New Yorker
When Chaim Skibelski is killed along with the other Jewish citizens of a small Polish town, his story is just beginning. Now a ghost, Chaim wanders the countryside, often accompanied by his rabbi, who has turned into a crow. He visits his home, now occupied by a Polish family whose dying daughter is the only one who can see him. He meets a talkative head that belongs to the soldier who may have shot him. He visits a grand hotel that caters to the dead with mysterious comforts — and helps two eccentric holy men search for the fallen moon. This afterlife is a remarkable journey, a long way from a peaceful eternity...and this stunning novel is one of the most highly praised and honored literary efforts of the year.
About the Author
Joseph Skibell is the author of two previous novels, A Blessing on the Moon and The English Disease. He has received a Halls Fiction Fellowship, a Michener Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, among other awards. He teaches at Emory University and is the director of the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature.
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