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The Golem and the Jinni

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<div><p>In <em>The Golem and the Jinni, </em>a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.</p><p>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.</p><p>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</p><p>Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel <em>The Golem and the Jinni </em>weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.</p><h3>Amazon.com Review</h3><p><strong>An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013</strong>: Imaginative and meticulously researched, this enchanting debut novel from Helene Wecker is, in reality, an historical fiction. Set primarily in turn-of-the-century Manhattan, it deliberately details the immigrant experience--the wonders and hardships of being in a new country and the discoveries, triumphs, and failures that follow--while bringing the city itself to life with such passion that New York of yore seems like a magical land. Beyond reality, however, <em>The Golem and the Jinni</em>, as the title implies, is also a fantastic work of fantasy. The Golem is an insatiably curious clay "woman" that was created to seem human while serving only her husband; the Jinni is a magical "man" whose fascination with mortals has left him nearly stripped of his own nature and forced to live as one. These mythical characters from otherwise clashing cultures not only coexist, but come to rely upon one another in order to exist at all. In turn, their story finds us not only rooting for them to find peace and happiness, but gaining a better understanding of our own human nature in the process. --<em>Robin A. Rothman</em></p><h3>From Booklist</h3><p>First novelist Wecker has blended not only genres but also elements of Jewish and Arab folklore and mythology in this intriguing historical fantasy. What happens when a golem, a Polish woman made of clay, recently marooned in late-nineteenth-century New York, joins forces with jinni, a creature made of fire, accidently released by a Syrian tinsmith in lower Manhattan? The premise is so fresh that it is anyone’s guess, and Wecker does not disappoint as she keeps the surprises coming in this unusual story of the intersection of two magical beings and their joint impact on their parochial immigrant communities. While stolid Chava and fiery Ahmed struggle to cope with their individual challenges and desires, they must together overcome philosophical, spiritual, and physical hurdles to ward off an insidious demonic threat. A mystical and highly original stroll through the sidewalks of New York. --Margaret Flanagan </p></div>

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