Fic­tion

When the Angels Left the Old Country 

  • From the Publisher
September 7, 2021

In pub­lish­ing-speak, here’s what we at the LQ office some­times describe as the Queer lovechild of Sholem Ale­ichem and Philip Roth:

Uriel the angel and Lit­tle Ash (short for Ashmedai) are the only two super­nat­ur­al crea­tures in their shtetl (which is so tiny, it does­n’t have a name oth­er than Shtetl). The angel and the demon have been study­ing togeth­er for cen­turies, but pogroms and the search for a new life have drawn all the young peo­ple from their vil­lage to Amer­i­ca. When one of those young emi­grants goes miss­ing, Uriel and Lit­tle Ash set off to find her.

Along the way the angel and demon encounter humans in need of their help, includ­ing Rose Cohen, whose best friend (and the love of her life) has aban­doned her to mar­ry a man, and Malke Shul­man, whose father died mys­te­ri­ous­ly on his way to America.

But there are obsta­cles ahead of them as dif­fi­cult as what they’ve left behind. Med­ical exams (and demons) at Ellis Island. Cor­rupt offi­cials, cru­el mob boss­es, mur­der­ers, pover­ty. The streets are far from paved with gold.

With cin­e­mat­ic sweep and ten­der obser­va­tion, Sacha Lamb presents a total­ly orig­i­nal dra­ma about indi­vid­ual pur­pose, the flu­id nature of iden­ti­ty, and the pow­er of love to change and endure.

Discussion Questions