"The apocryphal Book of Judith is considered by some to be fiction, its actual historical truth in doubt," Publishers Weekly says. "But the chutzpah of its heroine and its message of fidelity to God arouse both admiration and inspiration. Moise (Love is the Thread: A Knitting Friendship), a folklore specialist, evokes the heroine's side of this ancient parable. Extensive research into the period when events in the story of Judith occurred, around 350-100 BCE, allows her to include abundant detail regarding the customs, clothing, and domestic arrangements of Hebrew villagers; behaviors of Assyrian warriors; and, in particular, perceptions and treatment of women. Faithful widow Judith, grieving and childless, befriends the Assyrian defector Achior, whose message from Nebuchadnezzar's general, Holofernes, to Judith's village of Bethulia is 'Surrender or die.' As Holofernes lays siege to the village, Judith receives visions from God and pleas from her friends to help save the village. In danger of rape and death, she overcomes fear through faith and ritual, with the support of her maid, Abra; Achior; and the general's slave. Her defeat of Holofernes forms the satisfying climax of this occasionally slow-moving but always well-imaged novel."
Leslie Moïse writes memoir, historical, and fairy tale inspired fiction, a logical progression since her Ph.D. included an emphasis on Nineteenth Century women's fairy tales. When not at work on her own writing, she loves to help others bring their stories to life. She lives in Kentucky.
This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.
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.
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
Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker's debut novel The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.