The Put­ter­mess­er Papers: A Novel

  • From the Publisher
April 24, 2013

With dash­ing orig­i­nal­i­ty and in prose that sings like an entire choir of sirens, Cyn­thia Ozick relates the life and times of her most com­pelling fic­tion­al cre­ation. Ruth Put­ter­mess­er lives in New York City. Her learn­ing is mon­u­men­tal. Her love life is min­i­mal (she prefers pour­ing through Pla­to to romp­ing with mar­ried Mor­ris Rap­poport). And her fan­tasies have a dis­con­cert­ing ten­den­cy to come true — with dis­as­trous con­se­quences for what we laugh­ably call real­i­ty.”

Put­ter­mess­er yearns for a daugh­ter and prompt­ly cre­ates one, unas­sist­ed, in the form of the first record­ed female golem. Labor­ing in the dusty crevices of the civ­il ser­vice, she dreams of reform­ing the city — and man­ages to get her­self elect­ed may­or. Put­ter­mess­er con­tem­plates the after­life and is hur­tled into it head­long, only to dis­cov­er that a par­adise found is also par­adise lost. Over­flow­ing with ideas, lam­bent with wit, The Put­ter­mess­er Papers is a tour de force by one of our most vision­ary novelists.

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