The baker is Mickey Lerner–a man of confused passions who lives in a Baltimore community polarized by racial mistrust. One day, Mickey’s life is changed by a shocking crime, forcing him to explore the mysteries of his marriage and the awkwardness of life with his eighteen-year-old son.
Mickey also faces the growing tension between blacks and whites that threatens both his family and his bakery. Above all, Mickey must confront himself: his feelings, his desires, and the memory of a tragic event from his past.
Paul Hond has written a profoundly moving novel that never flinches in describing the dynamics of race and class, while offering a poignant vision of redemption. Powerful and compassionate, The Baker is a timeless work of fiction by a young writer whose voice will linger in the memory of readers for years to come.
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“An absorbing work . . . One puts down this novel with the feeling of having shared in the lives of some very real, quietly decent, people.” –The Christian Science Monitor
“Hond illuminates the long-standing tribal tensions and accords between blacks and Jews, and in a fast-paced series of Dickensian plot twists, he shows the increasing interdependence of their griefs and hopes.” –The New Yorker
“A likable, sweet-natured, compassionate first novel . . . an impressive debut, and Paul Hond is definitely a writer to watch.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“[A] wonderful first novel . . . It’s no overstatement to say that The Baker is a deeply moral book, and not just because it is willing to take on . . . critical social issues. It is, rather, because of that rare quality we find so often in Malamud: the all-encompassing compassion for the novel’s characters. We come to know these people . . . we mourn the distortions wrought by personal and social history. The novel’s compassion builds our own.” –TheForward