Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2010 book 69

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a new magazine/website called the Jewish Review of Books, which seems like it should be right up my alley, nu? But there was this article about Jews not writing fantasy which just seemed weird to me, since so much of my favorite Jewish fiction involves magic and mysticism (authors like Isaac Bashevis Singer, Cynthia Ozick, everything involving golems ever, etc etc etc), which I think certainly qualified as fantastical. Anyway, Michael Chabon responded* to this silliness (bringing up the many, many comic books written and created by Jews, and if that shit isn't fantasy I don't know what is) and mentioned an author I'd never heard of. So:

Lisa Goldstein's The Red Magician
It's Hungary in 1944 and a mysterious redheaded stranger comes to a small Jewish town to warn them that death is coming--but of course no one believes him. He wins the loyalty of a young girl and the enmity of the local rabbi, and various magical battles ensue. This was written in 1982, but doesn't feel dated--I do wish it was lengthier though, since parts of it feel a bit rushed (though I can forgive Goldstein for glossing over the Holocaust a bit).

*Also check that io9 post and its comments for a bunch more Jewish fantasy writers. I had no idea Peter Beagle was Jewish! *hearts The Last Unicorn*

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