Tina Jordan
May 03, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Golem And the Jinni

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Helene Wecker
publisher
HarperCollins
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A

Helene Wecker’s intoxicating fusion of fantasy and historical fiction, The Golem And the Jinni, follows two nonhuman creatures — one plucked from Jewish mythology, the other from Arab legend — who land, quite unexpectedly, on the teeming streets of 19th-century NYC. The first is the Golem, a woman made of clay created by an old man skilled in dark kabbalistic arts. And the second is the Jinni, summoned from fire in the Syrian desert by a Bedouin mystic. Wecker’s storytelling skills dazzle as she describes their arrival in the city, their constant struggles to pass as human, and the ways in which their paths parallel before finally intersecting late one night on the Bowery. The book’s magic, filtered through the old-time hustle and bustle of the Lower East Side, lingers long after the final page. A

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