Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2010 book 234

Joseph Skibell's A Blessing on the Moon
I'm not sure how I missed knowing this book existed for over ten years--I mean, I'm the girl who dropped Holocaust Literature in college because I'd already read everything on the syllabus (I ended up taking a class on African drama instead, which was really cool and I'd only read one book on the syllabus). Anyway, this book is a Jewish Holocaust fable of sorts--I mean, it really does read like old Yiddish folk tales at times. In the story, Chaim Skibelski (based on Skibell's own great-grandfather) and all the Jews in his village are gunned down. Even though he's dead, Chaim climbs out of the mass grave, starting down a very weird path of wandering (occasionally accompanied by the local rabbi, who has somehow become a crow). His afterlife is a fairly bleak affair, but could there be a higher purpose to his story?

Thanks to Michael at Algonquin for sending this to me--it's exactly the kind of story I like!

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