My Novels

Thus far, I have five novels available for purchase.  The best place to buy them online is Powells, a brick and mortar bookstore in Portland, Oregon that has a fabulous website which includes out-of-print and used copies.

http://www.powells.com

Or of course, you could support independent bookstores by ordering one there, or even stopping by suburban Barnes and Noble for a glass of wine and seeing if they have one on the shelf.

Please don’t purchase books– or anything else– from Amazon.  They’re destroying bookstores across the country, under-pricing their e-books and gobbling up everything in their path.   If you want to debate this issue with me, contact me directly.  I have plenty of opinions on this score.

Judenstaat CoverI’m thrilled to announce the publication of Judenstaat from Tor Books in June 2016.    It wasn’t an easy book to pitch, but Terry Bisson gave me this:  “An alternative history thriller about a woman stalking her husband’s assassin in the Jewish homeland carved out of Germany in 1948”   That seemed to work, and the legendary editor David Hartwell took it on.  Hartwell is Phillip K. Dick’s literary executor.  ‘Nuff said.

Hartwell died suddenly in January, and the book went to press without his guidance.   I wish I could figure out how he intended to market it, but so far, it seems to be getting some good reviews.

What does it mean to base a national history on cataclysmic loss? The widow is piecing together a history of her country for 40th anniversary documentary and Judenstaat is changing from a Socialist republic to a Neoliberal center for banking and “free trade.” A wall protects the country German fascists. The year is 1988. That wall is about to fall

Owing a debt to Phillip K. Dick, and George Orwell, Judenstaat considers what how history gets rewritten to suit the needs of the present, and how we face the ghosts of the past.

Waveland_Final_Cover-533x800Waveland came out from The Head and the Hand in May 2015.    They’re a wonderful press located in the Kensington  section of Philadelphia– my home town.  You can find out more about this novel here:  including a bit of a sample chapter.

Waveland is available through Powell’s.   Some Philadelphia independent bookstores, including Big Blue Marble, carry it was well.   You can also order it directly from the press, or its  distributor.

 

 

51s5U++ZNkL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Louisa, published by Penguin-Putnam in 2001, tells the story of a cranky, chain-smoking Holocaust survivor who arrives in the new state of Israel in 1949, along with her German daughter-in-law who hid her through the war and refuses to leave her.   The novel received the Goldberg Prize in Jewish Fiction and got starred reviews in Kirkus, Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, as as well an awfully good review in The New York Times.  That review also contains a link to the first chapter.

 

 

Moses in Sinai

Moses in Sinai is a thorny  re-imagining of the story of the Exodus, influenced by magic realism, Midrash, and The Arabian Nights along with a dose of radical feminism.  The book was written long before Louisa, but came out two years later from Black Heron Press , thoroughly confusing some readers, and apparently delighting others.  I was proud to hear that the book is being taught at the University of Miami, in a class called ” Bad Jews.”  The centerpiece of the novel is the rebellion of Korah, who claims:  “All of the congregation are holy.”  I agree.   The novel was the subject of a scholarly piece by   Ranen Omer-Sherman.

 

 Jack StrawThe Confession of Jack Straw tells the story of a medieval peasant revolt from a  peasant perspective.  Jack Straw, an apprentice to the notorious radical preacher John Ball, narrates the book.  It took me years to get his voice right (I actually had a few semesters of Anglo-Saxon and lugged around the compact volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary).  But the thing I like best about my first novel is the structure– embedded folktales like “The Miller and the Devil” and “Death Meets Three Sisters.”  I’ve always loved tales, and also stories about revolution betrayed.  My advice to any writer is:  write the kind of books you want to read.  That’s what I did here and have been doing ever since.

Speaking of books I want to read, when I was 15 years old, I wrote to Ursula Le Guin, asking if she could recommend any good books about anarchism (I’d just read her wonderful novel The Dispossessed).  To my delight, she wrote me back, and I swore I’d never contact her again until I had a novel published.  When Jack Straw was about to appear, I let her know.  She read it, and responded with this blurb:

“In most novels about the Middle Ages, the deck is all face cards.  Jack Straw is rare and admirable in its uncompromising, unpatronizing identification with a peasant– an intelligent, vulnerable man caught up on the dream of equality that flared into the Peasant Revolt.  The novel lets the reader stand at the crossroads of politics and mysticism and see 1776, 1848, 1917, Tianenmen Square– the same dream, the same betrayal.  A very moving, honest book.”


4 Comments

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  1. Looking forward to Waveland! It’s the only one I haven’t yet read. Moses in Sinai is my favorite!

  2. I enjoyed discussing _Waveland_ with you today. I’m going to suggest _Judenstaat_ for my sf book group.

    I haven’t read _Moses in Sinai_. Was Howard Fast’s _The River_ an influence?

  3. Hello. I will agree with you regarding not purchasing books from Amazon but, in this case, tell me which is the way to do it from Romania.
    Thank you very much.

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