if turn-of-the-last-century New York was not what you think it was?
Sure you'd find eastern European immigrants fresh off the boat, but
you'd also find other-worldly creatures, the beings of folk tales. What
would happen if, in the midst of the city, a Golem formed by a Polish
Jew met a Jinni imprisoned in human form by a Syrian wizard? Would they
have the same conflicts as their human counterparts?
The Golem's life began in the hold of a steamship. The year was 1899; the ship was the Baltika, crossing from Danzig to New York. The Golem's master, a man named Otto Rotfeld, had smuggled her aboard in a crate and hidden her among the luggage.—The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (HarperCollins / Harper, 2013, p.1)
- Setting: New York City, 1899
- Circumstances: The Golem and the Jinni had no control over their arrival in the city; they must learn to live alone in a human world, until they meet and recognize each other for what they are
- Characters: Chava, the Golem, made of clay and protected by a rabbi; Ahmad, the Jinni, made of fire and beholden to a tinsmith; human immigrants; poor and rich New Yorkers; forces of evil
- Genre: alternate history colored by folklore and religious mysticism
- Themes: clashing cultures, immigration, loneliness, love, survival, friendship
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