The Jewish people have been known through the centuries as the People of the Book, but it would be equally accurate to call us the People of Books. We read, we write and we discuss books. We understand, as few groups do, that not only Bibles and prayer books but many kinds of books are sacred objects, possessing the power to change people's lives. Whenever one of my books has come out, I have always found my best, most receptive, most attentive audiences through the Jewish Book Council . -- Rabbi Harold Kushner
Raised in Baltimore in the ‘90s, 17-year-old Samuel Gerson is ready to be rid of his high school baseball team, his protective upbringing, and the tight-knit Jewish community in which he’s spent his whole life. But when he befriends enigmatic Dmitri Zilber, a recent Russian Jewish immigrant who is obsessed with the works of Dostoevsky, Samuel’s world begins to shift. In the wake of his grandfather’s suicide, as his life increasingly entangles with that of Dmitri and his beautiful sister Yelizaveta, it sets in motion a series of events that culminates in a disturbing act of violence. A quietly devastating portrait of late adolescence, The Sensualist examines the culture we inherit as it collides with the one we create.
Supplemental Reading from Nouvella: The Sensualist relies heavily upon two central influences: the work of Dostoevsky, and Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Click here for links from some select passages from and about those works.
Read the transcript from JBC and Jewcy's #JLit Twitter Book Club with Daniel Torday below. Make sure to follow the Jewish Book Council (@jewishbook) and Jewcy (@jewcymag), and search #JLit to follow next month's conversation!