New novel combines Islamic and Jewish tradition

Helene Wecker's debut novel tells the interesting story of a Djinni and a Golem who come to depend on each other when they meet on the streets of New York.

New novel combines Islamic and Jewish tradition

World Bulletin / News Desk

A new novel by US storyteller Helene Wecker called ‘The Golem and the Djinni’ tells of an unorthodox affair between two supernatural creatures founded in Islamic and Jewish scripture, and their struggle to survive, passing off as human beings.

Providing glimpses of contemporary issues such as tensions in the Middle-East and immigration, Wecker puts readers in the shoes of a Djinni (Jinn), an entity made from fire as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, and a Golem, a creature made from mud that finds its roots in Hebrew mythology.

The Djinni, known as Ahmad, is freed after being trapped for hundreds of years in a copper flask by a magician’s spell, and brought to the US in the 19th century by a Maronite refugee from Syria. Likewise, Chava the Golem is fashioned by a Jewish maker living in New York. Both have to assume human forms and pass off as normal people living normal lives.

Ahmad begins to work as a craftsman while Chava poses as a widow working in a bakery. The two beings meet in a street and immediately recognize one another’s other-worldliness. They become emotionally bound as they both begin to help each other survive in the human world.

Both have weaknesses that can easily destroy them if exposed - Ahmad’s being water and Chava’s being a certain word.

Wecker, who herself if Jewish and married to an Arab-American, indicates the possibility of peace existing in the Middle-East between Jews and Muslims in her debut novel, as well as highlighting the sense of loneliness, alienation, loss and the need for companionship felt by asylum seekers who flee to the West in search of survival.

Last Mod: 16 Ocak 2014, 18:23
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