A Blessing on the Moon

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Algonquin Books, Sep 7, 2010 - Fiction - 272 pages
3 Reviews
Joseph Skibell’s magical tale about the Holocaust—a fable inspired by fact—received unanimous nationwide acclaim when first published in 1997.

At the center of A Blessing on the Moon is Chaim Skibelski. Death is merely the beginning of Chaim’s troubles. In the opening pages, he is shot along with the other Jews of his small Polish village. But instead of resting peacefully in the World to Come, Chaim, for reasons unclear to him, is left to wander the earth, accompanied by his rabbi, who has taken the form of a talking crow. Chaim’s afterlife journey is filled with extraordinary encounters whose consequences are far greater than he realizes.

Not since art Spiegelman’s Maus has a work so powerfully evoked one of the darkest moments of the twentieth century with such daring originality.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - suesbooks - LibraryThing

the first chapter was a use of magical realism that i thought was done well. it involved a polish child who was horrified by her family's behavior toward jews. however, the rest of the book about losing the moon did not work for me. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - the_awesome_opossum - LibraryThing

Contrary to Chaim Skibelski's expectations, the World to Come has not, since his death in a Polish pogrom. Instead, he and his fellow killed Jews are stuck in an in-between not-life, uncertain where ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

THE COLOR OF POISON BERRIES
69
THE SMALLER TO RULE BY NIGHT
189
INTERVIEWS WITH JOSEPH SKIBELL
259
The Ester and Chaim Skibelski family
269
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
271
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Possessing “a gifted, committed imagination” (New York Times), Joseph Skibell is the author of three novels, A Blessing on the Moon, The English Disease, and A Curable Romantic; the forthcoming collection of nonfiction stories My Father’s Guitar and Other Imaginary Things; and another forthcoming nonfiction work, Six Memos from the Last Millennium: A Novelist Reads the Talmud. He has received numerous awards, including the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Sami Rohr Award in Jewish Literature, Story magazine’s Short Short-Story Prize, and the Turner Prize for First Fiction.

As director of the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature from 2008 to 2015, he sang and played guitar onstage with both Margaret Atwood and Paul Simon. A professor at Emory University, Skibell has also taught at the University of Wisconsin and the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. Recently a Senior Fellow at the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, he is the Winship Distinguished Research Professor in the Humanities at Emory University. A native Texan, he lives mostly in his head.

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