The Escape Artist

  • From the Publisher
May 13, 2013
Set in the broth­els and gang­ster dens of Jew­ish Buenos Aires at the begin­ning of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry, The Escape Artist cat­a­pults us into the lives of Sofia Teit­el­baum (tricked into pros­ti­tu­tion and away from the gen­til­i­ty of her East­ern Euro­pean fam­i­ly), and a hand­some, mys­te­ri­ous magi­cian, Han­kus Lubarsky (enjoy­ing the free­dom of South Amer­i­ca after the pogroms of Poland), as they som­er­sault, tum­ble, and spin their way into an imag­ined future togeth­er. Trav­el­ing in a world of small-scale crim­i­nals and large emo­tions, our two les­bian heroes rub elbows with — and up against — Sofi­a’s cap­tors, the for­mi­da­ble and bizarrely reli­gious Madame Per­le Gold­en­berg and her mal­con­tent broth­er Tut­sik; Marek Fish­bein, the boor­ish king pimp of the ghet­to; Per­le’s bor­del­lo col­league, salty Red Ruthie; and a bevy of unblush­ing rack­e­teers, hyp­ocrites, and whores. Writ­ten with the bent notes and dizzy­ing rhythms of a Klezmer tune, The Escape Artist is a breath­tak­ing, delight­ful tale, full of spills, chills, and lush lan­guage. Its his­tor­i­cal sleight of hand and brave imag­i­na­tion keep all the balls in the air. 

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