Sunday, November 5, 2017

Rachel Kadish

Rachel Kadish is the award-winning author of the novels From a Sealed Room and Tolstoy Lied: a Love Story, as well as the novella I Was Here.

Her latest novel is The Weight of Ink.

From Kadish's Q&A at the blog of The American Philosophical Association:

Can you tell me what The Weight of Ink is about?

The novel opens in contemporary London, when the renovation of a seventeenth-century house is interrupted by the discovery of shelves of documents hidden inside a staircase. Helen Watt, a British professor with a very personal reason for her passion for Jewish history, is called in to examine the documents, most of which are signed by an obscure seventeenth-century rabbi. It’s not long before Helen realizes that there’s something about the documents that doesn’t make sense—there are, in fact, radical statements contained in the letters. Helen–along with Aaron Levy, an arrogant American grad student she brings in to assist her—quickly realizes that the documents were written by a scribe for the rabbi, who was blind…and that the scribe was a woman.

The narrative alternates between the story of the contemporary scholars trying to solve the mystery of the documents, and the story of the seventeenth-century woman who undertook a grand deception in order to write them: Ester Velasquez, a member of the same Amsterdam Portuguese-Inquisition refugee community that excommunicated Spinoza.
Ester and her brother, both orphans, have come from Amsterdam to London in the household of the blind rabbi—and when the brother is unwilling to serve as a scribe, it’s Ester who...[read on]
Visit Rachel Kadish's official website.

The Page 69 Test: Tolstoy Lied.

My Book, The Movie: The Weight of Ink.

Writers Read: Rachel Kadish.

The Page 69 Test: The Weight of Ink.

--Marshal Zeringue