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The Golem and the Jinni (Compact Disc)

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Staff Reviews

Two very unlikely immigrants arrive in America at the turn of the century: Chava is a Polish golem, an anthropomorphic woman made of mud. Ahmad is a jinni from the deserts of Syria, trapped in human form. When the two wake to find themselves in New York City, they learn to pass for human while adjusting to a life that they never asked for. The charming story of their meeting, the trials they face in learning about their new lives, and the dark discoveries about their creation had me absolutely hooked--I read the second half of the book in one breathless, immensely satisfying sitting.

— Andrea

It begins in 1918 New York as two mythical creatures, a golem and a jinni, awaken to find themselves rather out of place. This is both a lovely, detailed work of historical fiction, and a complex tale of self-discovery and friendship, redemption and revenge, and, of course, magic – both the fantastic and the everyday. A truly
lovely, utterly satisfying novel.

— Flannery

Completely captivating and very touching, The Golem and the Jinni is a tale of love and belonging with a touch of magic. The connections between characters, the inescapable destiny of large and small lives, and beautiful prose all combine to make this one of my favorite books. It's simply wonderful.

— Nici

This debut novel blends Jewish mythology with Arabic folklore so masterfully and magically that you'll be engrossed instantly. A golem who loses the husband who created her and a jinni who finds himself freed from the prison that bound him meet and form a bond in not only the immigrant experience but against a threat in their turn-of-the-century New York City neighborhood.

— Karena

This beautifully-written debut is set in turn-of-the-20th-century New York City and seamlessly weaves fantastical elements into the historical setting resulting in a magical story that somehow still feels realistic. Recommended for fans of good writing, The Shadow of the Wind and Spinning Silver.

— Stephanie

May 2013 Indie Next List

— Nick Petrulakis, Books Inc., Alameda, CA


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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781483005348
ISBN-10: 1483005348
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: July 8th, 2014
Language: English
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Created At: 3/24/2014 09:46am
Last Updated At: 3/5/2020 10:47pm