The Yiddish Policemen's Union: A Novel

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Harper Collins, May 1, 2007 - Fiction - 432 pages
191 Reviews

For sixty years, Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a "temporary" safe haven created in the wake of revelations of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel. Proud, grateful, and longing to be American, the Jews of the Sitka District have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant, gritty, soulful, and complex frontier city that moves to the music of Yiddish. For sixty years they have been left alone, neglected and half-forgotten in a backwater of history. Now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end: once again the tides of history threaten to sweep them up and carry them off into the unknown.

But homicide detective Meyer Landsman of the District Police has enough problems without worrying about the upcoming Reversion. His life is a shambles, his marriage a wreck, his career a disaster. He and his half-Tlingit partner, Berko Shemets, can't catch a break in any of their outstanding cases. Landsman's new supervisor is the love of his life—and also his worst nightmare. And in the cheap hotel where he has washed up, someone has just committed a murder—right under Landsman's nose. Out of habit, obligation, and a mysterious sense that it somehow offers him a shot at redeeming himself, Landsman begins to investigate the killing of his neighbor, a former chess prodigy. But when word comes down from on high that the case is to be dropped immediately, Landsman soon finds himself contending with all the powerful forces of faith, obsession, hopefulness, evil, and salvation that are his heritage—and with the unfinished business of his marriage to Bina Gelbfish, the one person who understands his darkest fears.

At once a gripping whodunit, a love story, an homage to 1940s noir, and an exploration of the mysteries of exile and redemption, The Yiddish Policemen's Union is a novel only Michael Chabon could have written.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BooksForDinner - LibraryThing

This is one of those books where I liked the story, the plot, the pacing, etc... but I just really enjoyed the author's prose more that any of that. I've only read one other Chabon book (The Final ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lucybrown - LibraryThing

I was awed by the level of inventiveness of this novel. Besides creating a totally new city, well it's Sitka, but it's not, down to its cartoons and cell phones, Chabon recreates history, believably ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
8
Section 3
14
Section 4
21
Section 5
26
Section 6
35
Section 7
52
Section 8
62
Section 26
227
Section 27
230
Section 28
237
Section 29
247
Section 30
256
Section 31
264
Section 32
276
Section 33
282

Section 9
68
Section 10
82
Section 11
96
Section 12
101
Section 13
106
Section 14
120
Section 15
126
Section 16
135
Section 17
146
Section 18
151
Section 19
161
Section 20
171
Section 21
179
Section 22
183
Section 23
197
Section 24
206
Section 25
213
Section 34
289
Section 35
298
Section 36
312
Section 37
321
Section 38
329
Section 39
336
Section 40
356
Section 41
362
Section 42
369
Section 43
378
Section 44
382
Section 45
394
Section 46
402
Section 47
413
Section 48
421
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Michael Chabon is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Summerland (a novel for children), The Final Solution, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, and Gentlemen of the Road; as well as the short story collections A Model World and Werewolves in Their Youth; and the essay collections Maps and Legends and Manhood for Amateurs. He is the Chairman of the Board of the MacDowell Colony. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, the novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.

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