Synopses & Reviews
The Seventh Beggar begins with a contemporary young man's obsession with the legendary nineteenth-century Chasidic master, Nachman of Bratslav--kabbalist, storyteller, and charismatic whose cult following persists to this day. The legends and life of Nachman inform the novel, in particular Nachman's famously unfinished Tales of the Seven Beggars, which serves as the inspiration for Pearl Abraham's own bold and probing story about the glories and pitfalls of originality. A translation of Nachman's tales from the original Yiddish is included in full in the novel itself. Abraham staked her literary claim in the groundbreaking novel The Romance Reader, which took readers for the first time into the Chasidic world through the eyes of a woman. Now she returns to that world, with an even more ambitious work that upends the conventions of storytelling, thwarts expectations, and yet all the while compels us with its lovable characters, its narrative momentum, and its creation of a familiar yet dreamlike landscape, in which imagination simultaneously triumphs and destroys.
At the heart of "The Seventh Beggar" lies a contemporary young man's obsession with the legendary 19th-century Chasidic master, Nachman of Bratslav--kabbalist, storyteller, and charismatic whose cult following persists to this day.
Pearl Abraham's debut novel, The Romance Reader, was praised for covering uncharted territory, deftly lifting the opaque curtain from the closed Chasidic world. Now Abraham returns to that world, in an ambitious and dazzling new novel about the possibilities-and perils-of storytelling and creation.
About the Author
Pearl Abraham is the author of the novels The Romance Reader and Giving Up America, and the editor of the Dutch anthology Een Sterke Vrouw: Jewish Heroines in Literature. Her work has appeared in Brooklyn Noir, The Michigan Quarterly, Religion in America, Dog Culture: Writers on the Character of Canines, and Forward.