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The Book of the Unknown

Paperback $15.00

Feb 10, 2009 | 240 Pages

Ebook $11.99

Feb 10, 2009 | 240 Pages

  • Paperback $15.00

    Feb 10, 2009 | 240 Pages

  • Ebook $11.99

    Feb 10, 2009 | 240 Pages

Get the news you want from Penguin Random House


The Sophie Brody Award for Excellence in Jewish Literature WINNER 2010


“Echoes of Isaac Bashevis Singer, Sholom Aleichem and S.Y. Agnon sound throughout this high-concept collection’s engaging stories….Unusual and charming stories that successfully revive a nearly forgotten form of storytelling. One hopes we will hear more of these Lamedh-Vov and their all-too-human struggles and triumphs.” — Kirkus Reviews

“These charming stories, told with authority–yet oddly delicate and wholly delightful–are enchanting. To read them is to become transfixed with that long-forgotten childhood wonder. One feels in the hands of a masterful and magical storyteller.”
–Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge

“In his fantastic and fantastical collection, Jonathon Keats creates an original and captivating world of surprise where scoundrels are saints and dreams descend on villages like rain. There’s mystery and magic on every page, and a deeply inspiring humanity at the heart of every fable. Finally, a writer who understands that adults need fairy tales as much, if not more, than children.”—Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Corpus Christi: Stories, and director of the creative writing program at Harvard University

The Book of the Unknown is based on ancient Jewish lore and set in pre-modern Eastern Europe.  Add Jonathon Keats’  21st-century American sensibility,  and the result is a delightful and provocative brew–one of a kind.” —Janet Hadda, author of Isaac Bashevis Singer: A Life, and Professor of Yiddish Emerita at UCLA

"The Book of the Unknown earns Jonathon Keats a place in line with Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav and Isaac Bashevis Singer. In language at once phantasmagorical, seductive, and reverent, Keats imagines the preposterous misadventures of people who are so holy they are unknown even to themselves. And, in so doing, he reopens the Jewish folk imagination–and our own." —Lawrence Kushner, author of Kabbalah: A Love Story, and The Emanu-El Scholar at Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco

“Keats’ world is a fun one. His allegorical world resembles some hybrid of Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest and Shrek’s moss-covered environs.”–Booklist

“Keats seizes upon the idea of the 36 righteous ones who preserve the world from destruction by their goodness [and] brilliantly turns the concept on its head …Highly recommended.” –Library Journal, starred review

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