Virtual Event: Helene Wecker
The Hidden Palace:
A Novel of the Golem and the Jinni
in conversation with ANGELA MI YOUNG HUR
June 14, 2021
7:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes HELENE WECKER—author of the internationally bestselling The Golem and the Jinni—for a discussion of her highly anticipated follow-up, The Hidden Palace: A Novel of the Golem and the Jinni. She will be joined in conversation by acclaimed novelist ANGELA MI YOUNG HUR, author of Folklorn.
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About The Hidden Palace
Chava is a golem, a woman made of clay, who can hear the thoughts and longings of those around her and feels compelled by her nature to help them. Ahmad is a jinni, a restless creature of fire, once free to roam the desert but now imprisoned in the shape of a man. Fearing they’ll be exposed as monsters, these magical beings hide their true selves and try to pass as human—just two more immigrants in the bustling world of 1900s Manhattan. Brought together under calamitous circumstances, their lives are now entwined—but they’re not yet certain of what they mean to each other.
Both Chava and Ahmad have changed the lives of the people around them. Park Avenue heiress Sophia Winston, whose brief encounter with Ahmad left her with a strange illness that makes her shiver with cold, travels to the Middle East to seek a cure. There she meets Dima, a tempestuous female jinni who’s been banished from her tribe. Back in New York, in a tenement on the Lower East Side, a little girl named Kreindel helps her rabbi father build a golem they name Yossele—not knowing that she’s about to be sent to an orphanage uptown, where the hulking Yossele will become her only friend and protector.
Spanning the tumultuous years from the turn of the twentieth century to the beginning of World War I, The Hidden Palace follows these lives and others as they collide and interleave. Can Chava and Ahmad find their places in the human world while remaining true to each other? Or will their opposing natures and desires eventually tear them apart—especially once they encounter, thrillingly, other beings like themselves?
Praise for The Hidden Palace
“A blend of romance, Mary Shelley-esque horror, and folklore . . . Wecker skillfully combines the storylines of Chava the Golem and Ahmad the Jinni and numerous other players, good and evil, in an enchanting tale that pleases on every page.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Spanning more than a decade and touching on major early-twentieth-century events, such as the Triangle fire, the sinking of the Titanic, and the beginning of WWI, Wecker's second outing blends Jewish and Middle Eastern mythology within a vibrant historical setting.” —Booklist
“Impressive . . . storytelling à la Dickens . . . A satisfying, mature sequel to The Golem and the Jinni, continuing the magical story of two immigrant mythological characters from the turn of the 20th century to the outbreak of WWI.” —Publishers Weekly
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