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14 Local Warehouse Science Fiction and Fantasy- Fantasy- Historical
7 Remote Warehouse Literature- A to Z

The Golem and the Jinni

by

The Golem and the Jinni Cover

ISBN13: 9780062110831
ISBN10: 0062110837
All Product Details

 

Awards

Staff Pick

A brilliant blend of historical fiction and literary fantasy set in late 19th-century New York. Beautifully written and carefully researched, this is the story of an unlikely friendship between two beings straight out of mythology: a jinni and a golem, who more or less accidentally immigrate to Manhattan.
Recommended by Mary Jo, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

Struggling to make their way in this strange new place, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their neighbors while masking their true natures. Surrounding them is a community of immigrants: the coffeehouse owner Maryam Faddoul, a pillar of wisdom and support for her Syrian neighbors; the solitary ice cream maker Saleh, a damaged man cursed by tragedy; the kind and caring Rabbi Meyer and his beleaguered nephew, Michael, whose Sheltering House receives newly arrived Jewish men; the adventurous young socialite Sophia Winston; and the enigmatic Joseph Schall, a dangerous man driven by ferocious ambition and esoteric wisdom.

Meeting by chance, the two creatures become unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures, until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful menace will soon bring the Golem and the Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

Marvelous and compulsively readable, The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of folk mythology, historical fiction, and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

Review:

"Wecker's first novel is a magical tale of two mythical creatures — a golem from a Polish shtetl and a jinni from the Syrian Desert — struggling to fit in among New York's turn-of-the-19th-century immigrants. The golem is brought to America by poor furniture maker Otto Rotfeld, who had her built from clay to be his wife, but he dies en route. Elderly Rabbi Avram Meyer, recognizing the tall and hardworking young woman's supernatural character, gives her a name — Chava — and a job in a bakery, but ponders whether to destroy her or let her fulfill a destiny that legend dictates includes mayhem and destruction. Meanwhile, a tinsmith, Boutros Arbeely, releases the jinni from a thousand-year-old flask and names him Ahmad. Proud, handsome Ahmad proves a gifted metalworker, seduces a Fifth Avenue heiress, and pines for his long-lost glass palace before meeting Chava, his unlikely soul mate. Wecker deftly layers their story over those of the people they encounter, including a Jewish baker and his wife, a Maronite coffee shop owner and his wife, a doctor turned ice cream vendor, and an apostate social worker. The ending dips into melodrama, but the human touches more than compensate in Wecker's spellbinding blend of fantasy and historical fiction. Agent: Matt McGowan, Frances Goldin Literary Agency. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

About the Author

Helene Wecker received a BA from Carleton College in Minnesota and an MFA from Columbia University in New York. A Chicago-area native who has made her home in Minneapolis, Seattle, and New York, she now lives near San Francisco with her husband and daughter. The Golem and the Jinni is her first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

lindykerry, October 28, 2014 (view all comments by lindykerry)
Recently all I am talking about with my friends is this book. I keep describing it as "lovely". It feels magical and deftly balances a historical feel with the blending of cultures. I have heard that some people feel it is a slow moving book, but I found the opposite.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Erinwithans, October 22, 2014 (view all comments by Erinwithans)
Beautiful and sweet exploration of what it means to leave your homeland and your people, and start somewhere new and strange.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Gold Gato, April 6, 2014 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
The premise for this book hooked me immediately. A Jewish Golem meets a Jinni from Arabia in the New York of 1899. Great starting point. Throw in a long selection of characters from Syria and Eastern Europe and one has the quintessential immigrant experience to the New World. If the historical Big Apple could have been portrayed with a bit more detail, I would have been happier as a reader. Also, there was a stretch just past the mid-point when everything started to be sewed up too quickly. It needed a Dickensian touch instead.

But, I enjoyed the story itself (imaginative), I loved the descriptions of the Jinni's abode in the desert, but especially I enjoyed the character of Malik/Schaalman. A very good debut.

Book Season = Winter (Central Park with snow)
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780062110831
Author:
Wecker, Helene
Publisher:
Harper
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Historical
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20130431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
A <I>Entertainment Weekly</I>
Language:
English
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.45 in 22.8 oz

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Historical

The Golem and the Jinni New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$26.99 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Harper - English 9780062110831 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

A brilliant blend of historical fiction and literary fantasy set in late 19th-century New York. Beautifully written and carefully researched, this is the story of an unlikely friendship between two beings straight out of mythology: a jinni and a golem, who more or less accidentally immigrate to Manhattan.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Wecker's first novel is a magical tale of two mythical creatures — a golem from a Polish shtetl and a jinni from the Syrian Desert — struggling to fit in among New York's turn-of-the-19th-century immigrants. The golem is brought to America by poor furniture maker Otto Rotfeld, who had her built from clay to be his wife, but he dies en route. Elderly Rabbi Avram Meyer, recognizing the tall and hardworking young woman's supernatural character, gives her a name — Chava — and a job in a bakery, but ponders whether to destroy her or let her fulfill a destiny that legend dictates includes mayhem and destruction. Meanwhile, a tinsmith, Boutros Arbeely, releases the jinni from a thousand-year-old flask and names him Ahmad. Proud, handsome Ahmad proves a gifted metalworker, seduces a Fifth Avenue heiress, and pines for his long-lost glass palace before meeting Chava, his unlikely soul mate. Wecker deftly layers their story over those of the people they encounter, including a Jewish baker and his wife, a Maronite coffee shop owner and his wife, a doctor turned ice cream vendor, and an apostate social worker. The ending dips into melodrama, but the human touches more than compensate in Wecker's spellbinding blend of fantasy and historical fiction. Agent: Matt McGowan, Frances Goldin Literary Agency. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free

Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

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