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For sixty years, Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a “temporary” safe haven created in the wake of revelations of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel. Proud, grateful, and longing to be American, the Jews of the Sitka District have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant, gritty, soulful, and complex frontier city that moves to the music of Yiddish. For sixty years they have been left alone, neglected and half-forgotten in a backwater of history. Now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end: once again the tides of history threaten to sweep them up and carry them off into the unknown.
But homicide detective Meyer Landsman of the District Police has enough problems without worrying about the upcoming Reversion. His life is a shambles, his marriage a wreck, his career a disaster. He and his half-Tlingit partner, Berko Shemets, can’t…[more]
It is New York City in 1939. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat to date: smuggling himself out of Nazi-occupied Prague. He is looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn’s own Sammy Clay, is looking for a collaborator to create the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book. Out of their fantasies, fears, and dreams, Joe and Sammy weave the legend of that unforgettable champion the Escapist. And inspired by the beautiful and elusive Rosa Saks, a woman who will be linked to both men by powerful ties of desire, love, and shame, they create the otherworldly mistress of the night, Luna Moth. As the shadow of Hitler falls across Europe and the world, the Golden Age of comic books has begun.
Summerland is a magical place, where the local Little League gathers to play baseball on a perfectly manicured lawn, and the sun is always shining in a flawless blue sky. However, the small beings known as ferishers, who ensure this perfect weather, are threatened by an ancient enemy and need a hero—a baseball star, in fact—to vanquish their foe.
The ferishers recruit Ethan Feld, possibly the worst ballplayer in the history of the league, as their chosen leader. No one is more surprised than Ethan at their choice, but their faith spurs him on.
Accompanied by his determined friend Jennifer T. Rideout and a motley crew of creatures that includes everything from a Sasquatch to a werefox, Ethan struggles to defeat giants, bat-winged goblins, and one of the toughest ball clubs in the realms of magic to save the Summerlands, and, ultimately, the world. …[more]
As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there, long-time friends, bandmates and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the sketchy yet freewheeling borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Archy and his wife, Gwen, are expecting their first baby; Nat and Aviva have a teenaged son, Julius. Cranky, flawed and loving each other with all the fierceness we’ve come to expect of Chabon characters, Archy and Nat have worked to construct lives and livelihoods that have a groove, looking to connect across barriers of race and class, and clinging to a sense of order and security through their stubbornly old-school ways.
When ex-NFL quarterback Gibson Goode, the fourthrichest black man in America, announces plans to construct his latest Dogpile megastore on a nearby neglected stretch of Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom for their vulnerable…[more]
In Wonder Boys we meet James Leer, a troubled young “wonder boy” whose obsession with Hollywood suicides leads him to commit a pair of startling crimes. Thereby his destiny becomes entangled with that of his writing teacher, Grady Tripp, a former prodigy whose penchant for self-destruction is exceeded only by the twenty-six hundred pages of his unfinished magnum opus, Wonder Boys—a leviathan of a novel that is devouring his life. Joined by Terry Crabtree, Grady’s editor—another onetime boy wonder whose appetite for the bizarre has derailed a promising career—teacher and student set out across a mysterious nighttime landscape to search for a vision of redemption, a shot at literary fame, and the threadbare black satin jacket in which Marilyn Monroe wed Joe DiMaggio.