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Wednesday 25th January 2023

The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker


In the Polish town of Konin at the end of the 19th century, a corrupt kabbalist named Yehudah Schaalman creates a golem in the shape of a woman at the request of young Otto Rotfeld, who seeks a submissive, attentive, and curious wife. Rotfeld dies during a subsequent sea voyage to New York City, leaving the newly awakened golem in an unfamiliar environment.

A rabbi in New York takes in the golem and, naming her Chava, starts teaching her to pass as human among the diverse groups of people living in New York. Meanwhile, a tinsmith in New York's Little Syria accidentally frees a jinni from a flask in which he has been imprisoned for a millennium. With no memory of how he was subdued, the jinni is virtually powerless and trapped in human form.

He takes the name Ahmad and apprentices with the tinsmith while searching for a way to return to his natural form.


Source: Publisher


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