Synopses & Reviews
"Hats off to one of the most inventive writers of French literature. . . . Hubert Haddad concocts a colorful novel, funny and inventive, as clever as the Fox sisters themselves."—Jean-François Delapré, Saint Christophe bookstore
The Fox sisters grew up just outside of Rochester, NY, in a house that had a reputation for being haunted, due in large part to a series of strange "rappings" or "knockings" that plagued its inhabitants. Fed up by whatever was responsible for the knockings, the youngest of the sisters (who was twelve at the time) challenged the ghost and ended up communicating with the spirit of Charles Haynes, who had been murdered in the house and buried in the cellar.
Thanks to the enthusiasm of one Isaac Post, the Fox sisters became instantly famous for talking to the dead, launching the Spiritualist Movement in the US. After taking Rochester by storm, the sisters moved to New York where they were the most famous mediums of the time, giving séances for hundreds of people.
Then, it all fell apart, and the sisters were exposed as frauds. Nevertheless, even today the Fox sisters are considered to be the founders of Spiritualism, one of the most popular religious movements of the past couple centuries (consider the success of Long Island Medium and the hundreds of thousands who visit Lily Dale every year).
Rich in historical detail, Rochester Knockings novelizes the rise and fall of these most infamous of mediums.
Hubert Haddad was born in Tunisia, and is the author of dozens of works, including the novels Palestine (winner of the Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie), Tango chinois, and La Condition magique (winner of the Grand Prix du Roman de la Société des Gens de Lettres).
Fictional retelling of the most famous spiritualists of the nineteenth century—the Fox Sisters, who conned everyone with their mysterious knockings.
About the Author
Hubert Haddad was born in Tunisia, and is the author of dozens of works, including the novels Palestine
(winner of the Prix des Cinq Continents de la Francophonie), Tango chinois
, and La Condition magique
(winner of the Grand Prix du Roman de la Société des Gens de Lettres).
Jennifer Grotz is the editor of Open Letters poetry series, but is also a poet in her own right (The Needle, Cusp) and translates from French. Additionally, she is a professor of English, creative writing, and translation at the University of Rochester.