There are many prominent Jewish authors, and over the last seven nights, we’ve covered quite a diverse bunch. As tonight is the final night, and we light all eight (really nine) candles, I’d like to share one of my favorite collections of authors: an anthology edited by Rachel Swirsky and Sean Wallace called People of the Book.
People of the Book is a sci-fi/fantasy anthology that came out in 2010. I picked it up because of several big names, but mostly Neil Gaiman. The anthology also features Peter S. Beagle, Jane Yolen, Michael Chabon and several other well known genre authors.
Only one of the stories is original to this volume, though having them collected like this is wonderful. The stories range from biblical retellings to Jews and aliens–this book has it all! I can’t say that all the stories are superb, but out of the ones I’ve read, I’ve really enjoyed several.
If you’re wondering why I’m reviewing a book I haven’t yet finished, it has to do with the way I celebrate Jewish holidays. I live a significant distance from my family, and I do not live in a Jewish area. Often, in lieu of celebrating with friends and family, I read a story from this book. It’s incredibly cool to know that authors I love and respect, or even authors I may not know I love yet, grew up hearing the stories I heard, and that they’ve had a large enough impact to write about them. Whether you’re practicing the religion actively, or only go to temple on Yom Kippur, you were raised with a particular set of morals, bible stories, and even magic. All of those are present in a reassuringly familiar way in this book.
We at the Daily Geekette hope you have had a very wonderful Hanukah, and that you’ve enjoyed exploring these Jewish authors as much as we have!