The Golem and the Jinni by Helene WeckerChava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life 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 Weckers 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.
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One is a golem, a clay woman fashioned near Danzig, then shipped across the ocean as the wife of a man who inconveniently dies on the voyage. The other is a jinni from the Syrian desert, trapped inside a copper flask until a hapless tinsmith sets him free during a routine repair. The jinni, like all his kind, is made of fire; his natural enemies are water and iron, but most of all the wizard who enchanted him a thousand years ago. A Jewish magus made the golem docile, yet also strong enough to withstand almost anything except a secret incantation, which the kindly rabbi who finds her in the streets resolves to thwart. Both creatures have the potential to live forever.
Thank you! She lands in Manhattan with less destructive force than Godzilla hit Tokyo, but even so, she cuts a strange figure. So does Ahmad, another slave bottled up—literally—and shipped across the water to a New York slum called Little Syria, where a lucky Lebanese tinsmith named Boutros Arbeely rubs a magic flask in just the right way and—shazam! Wecker takes the premise and runs with it, and though her story runs on too long for what is in essence a fairy tale, she writes skillfully, nicely evoking the layers of alienness that fall upon strangers in a strange land. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again.