Ensign Andrew Dahl has just come aboard the Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union, for his new posting. He’s excited about the potential for his career—after all, some of the most famous UU officers are in charge of the ship and a few away missions will improve his chances for promotion.
It’s no surprise that Helene Wecker’s first novel, The Golem and the Jinni, won the 2014 Harold U. Ribalow prize. This adult fairy tale reminds the reader of the works of Kafka or Isaac Bashevis Singer. At turns it is funny but it can be dark. The Golem (Chava) is a creature made out of clay and the Jinni (Ahmad), born of fire, has been trapped inside a copper flask for many generations. It’s 1899 in New York City with a focus on the streets and rooftops of Manhattan. Immigrants abound.