Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Updated Post on People of the Book

Revisiting People of the Book

A few years ago, I read, and posted The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I have always been swayed back and reminded about the book, someway. This time it was from one of my fellow book bloggers. She is reading the novel, and I sent my link from my posts. After reading and reminiscing about the book. I had put the book to rest.  But, I still think there is much to talk about with the novel. Especially, what is going on in the Middle East.  The People of the Book links Jews to Muslim, and visa versa. It reminds us we are all human and linked to each other. Not, just about killing each other.

So, I decided to google and see what else pops up recently.  There was an amazing program on PBS. Here is the link. Here is some pictures as well.  You can visit my previous posts about these amazing artifacts, and here are my other posts about the Hagaddah.

But something new also based on the Sarajevo Haggadah is Music of the Book. You can read the article here. It is about a Bosnian woman that wrote music based on the true story of the Sarajevo Hagaddah.  A program in Boston is showing now and around the world.  Something else- the people of Bosnia may loose the book once more if they don't find somewhere to keep this important Jewish artifact. You can find the article here. Then an article at the Huffington Post about why the artifact was unable to travel to the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art in NYC. I hope someone may initiate the care of this important, and beautiful artifact. That seems to be like us, the

This is taken from the author's website:

Available now, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of March, an intricate, ambitious novel that traces the journey of a rare illuminated Hebrew manuscript from convivencia Spain to the ruins of Sarajevo, from the Silver Age of Venice to the sunburned rock faces of northern Australia.
Inspired by the true story of a mysterious codex known as the Sarajevo Haggadah, People of the Book is a sweeping adventure through five centuries of history. From its creation in Muslim-ruled, medieval Spain, the illuminated manuscript makes a series of perilous journeys: through Inquisition-era Venice, fin-de-siecle Vienna, and the Nazi sacking of Sarajevo.
In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed manuscript, which has been rescued once again from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with figurative paintings. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she becomes determined to unlock the book’s mysteries. As she seeks the counsel of scientists and specialists, the reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its creation to its salvation.
Page from the Sarajevo Haggadah
Page from the Sarajevo Haggadah
In Bosnia during World War II, a Muslim risks his life to protect it from the Nazis. In the hedonistic salons of Vienna in 1894, the book becomes a pawn in an emerging contest between the city’s cultured cosmopolitanism and its rising anti-Semitism. In Venice in 1609, a Catholic priest saves it from Inquisition book burnings. In Tarragona in 1492, the scribe who wrote the text has his family destroyed amid the agonies of enforced exile. And in Seville in 1480, the reason for the Haggadah’s extraordinary illuminations is finally disclosed.
In Year of Wonders and March, Geraldine Brooks demonstrated an uncanny ability to hear and transmit the voices of a seventeenth century Derbyshire maid and an nineteenth century American abolitionist. People of the Bookis filled with unforgettable voices from the past, but it is Hanna’s voice—edgy, contemporary—that makes People of the Book a compulsively readable adventure story that transcends the usual boundaries of historical fiction.

I have been thinking in the last couple years after reading this novel. To have our  Jewish community read,  People of the Book.  Even though it is not a recent bestseller anymore, I think it makes great discussion and a wonderful book if you have not heard of it, or read it.  Happy Reading!


Ellis Shuman said...

Hello Susan,

"People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks had a profound effect on me. Years after reading it, I was compelled to travel to Sarajevo and follow the trail of the Sarajevo Haggadah.

Here is my report of the journey: http://ellisshuman.blogspot.co.il/2014/07/on-trail-of-sarajevo-haggadah.html

Susan's Literary Cafe said...

Thank you very much about the Sarajevo Haggadah.

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