CONTEMPORY NOVELS WITH THE GOLEM AS AN IMPORTANT CHARACTER

Chabon, Michael. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. New York: Random House, 2000. 659 p.

A young man, who has escaped from wartime Prague with the assistance of the Golem, joins his cousin in Brooklyn where together they create super heroes for the comic books who fight the Nazis. The novel is the story of the golden age of comic books as well as tale of these two creative young men.

Hamill, Pete. Snow in August. Boston: Little Brown, 1997. 336 p.

Michael Devlin, the Irish-Catholic son of a widow, befriends a Rabbi who is a survivor of the Holocaust living in his Brooklyn neighborhood. Michael becomes the Rabbi’s Shabbos Goy, performing tasks for the Rabbi that Jews are forbidden to perform on the Sabbath. When an anti-Semitic gang of hoodlums, terrorizes the Rabbi and the young boy and his mother, Michael strikes back, creating a Golem like the ones the Rabbi told him about, with predictable results.

Handler, Daniel. Watch Your Mouth. New York: St. Martin’s/Dunne, 2000. 240 p.

This is a wacky and bizarre family story in the form of an opera where a young man at a Jewish camp gets involved with a murderous family who may or may not be constructing a golem in the basement.

Isler, Alan. The Bacon Fancier. New York: Viking, 1997. 213 p.

This collection of four stories by the author of The Prince of West End Avenue, which begins with the story of “The Monster” a golem-like creature abandoned at birth in the ghetto of Venice, follows the lives of four Jewish men at various points in history. The stories are witty and literate with many references to Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, and Oscar Wilde.

Mulisch, Harry. The Procedure. New York: Penguin, 2002

Dutch microbiologist Viktor Werner created a living organism made from clay in his laboratory and also lost his unborn daughter. This novel is interwoven with the story of the Golem of Prague.

Piercy, Marge. He, She, and It. New York: Knopf, 1991. 446 p.

In an embattled Jewish community of a futuristic era, a scientist creates a cyborg named Yod – very much like the Golem of Prague. This is a science fiction novel that updates the Golem but the end of the Golem’s story is always the same.

Rosenbaum, Thane. The Golems of Gotham. New York: HarperCollins, 2002.

A blocked writer, whose parents, Holocaust survivors, committed suicide in a dramatic fashion in their synagogue, is haunted by their ghosts as well as the ghosts of writers who committed suicide after surviving the Holocaust after creative lives.

Sturm, James. The Golem’s Mighty Swing. Montréal: Drawn & Quarterly, 2001

In this graphic novel, Sturm depicts a Jewish team during the era of barnstorming baseball in the 1920’s and describes a Jewish ball team so eager to have a chance that they manufacture a golem from one of their players.

Andrea Kempf/July 2008  akempf@jccc.edu

3 Responses to “CONTEMPORY NOVELS WITH THE GOLEM AS AN IMPORTANT CHARACTER”

  1. Burton B. Smoliar Says:

    AN ADDITION TO THE LIST ON THE GOLEM:

    The book of splendor
    Sherwood, Frances, 1940-
    Personal Author: Sherwood, Frances, 1940-
    Title: The book of splendor / Frances Sherwood.
    Edition: 1st ed.
    Publication info: New York : W.W. Norton, c2002.
    Physical descrip: 348 p. ; 25 cm.
    General Note: Map on lining papers.
    Held by: CENTRAL CORINTH CEDARROE OLATHE INDIANCRK
    Personal subject: Judah Loew ben Bezalel, ca. 1525-1609.–Fiction.
    Personal subject: Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1552-1612.–Fiction.
    Personal subject: Brahe, Tycho, 1546-1601.–Fiction.
    Subject term: Jewish women–Fiction.
    Geographic term: Prague (Czech Republic)–Fiction.

  2. AlexM Says:

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Bookmarks about Identity Says:

    […] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by wiggligirl on 2008-07-27 CONTEMPORY NOVELS WITH THE GOLEM AS AN IMPORTANT CHARACTER http://jlitkc.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/contempory-novels-with-the-golem-as-an-important-character/ […]

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