The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker

Title: The Golem and The Jinni

Author: Helene Wecker

Context: The Golem and the Jinni (2013)is a historical fiction novel by Helene Wecker set in the United States in the early 1900s. The story is about a golem, a creature named Chava and a jinni named Ahmad.  A fire born being, in the desert in ancient Syria, is the jinni named Ahmad. The jinni trapped in an old flask made of copper is released though not completely free, in New York City. Both Chava and Ahmad develop mystical connections and become unlikely soul mates and friends.

Synopsis: Elements of Arab and Jewish folk mythology are combined in this immigrant story. Both the supernatural creatures reach separately in New York in the year 1899.  One of the characters is the clay created Golem who is the wife of her master. However she is left overwhelmed and disoriented after the master dies and the ship reaches New York Harbor. The other character is Jinni who is trapped for a thousand years in fire in a copper flask, before he is released in the Little Syria in Manhattan by a Tinsmith. The Tinsmith makes Jinni his apprentice.

Though both Chava and Ahmad do not know each other they together explore the strange world of humans. While Ahmad feels aggravated by the dullness of humans, Chava is best by the wishes and desires of others which keep tugging at her, she feels. They have to work to create space for themselves in the new world and also develop tentative relationships with the surrounding humans. Then their paths happen to meet, on one windy and cold night.

The novel is irresistibly readable and marvelous. It weaves strands of Middle Eastern and Yiddish literature, magical fable and historical fiction into one of the most unforgettable and wondrously inventive story.

Other works by the Author:

The Iron Season – The Golem and the Jinni #2 (The novel is set during the era of World War I. It is a continued story of ‘The Golem and Jinni – Chava and Ahmad. Both of them encounter other beings similar to their kind. They find that they have been altered forever on developing close ties with human beings.