The novel The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker experiments with several different genres but is primarily fantasy historical fiction. Taking place in New York in 1899, the story follows the paths of two supernatural characters. Chava, a Golem, from Jewish culture (a creature created from clay for the purpose of following a human’s bidding) and a man named Ahmed, a Jinni, from the Syrian desert. Becoming unlikely friends, the Golem and the Jinni bond over their sleeplessness and their efforts toward pretending to be human.
With rich character development, this story book explores what it means to be human, the challenges of being an immigrant in 19th century America and how poignant friendship can be for individuals, even if they are made of clay.
Allison Collins is an office specialist at Hennepin County Library: Maple Grove. Find more at hclib.org.