USA, Canada

Arnon Grunberg

Blue Mondays (1997)
Silent Extras (2001)
Phantom Pain (2004)
The Jewish Messiah (2008)
Tirza (2013)

Marek van der Jagt

The Story of My Baldness (2004)

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The Jewish Messiah

ISBN 978-1-59420-149-3
Publisher The Penguin Press, New York
Original title De joodse messias / Grote Jiddische roman (2004)
Year 2008
Country USA, Canada
Language English
Translator Sam Garrett


Xavier Radek lives in Basel, Switserland and is a young man with a mission: he wants to know more about the suffering of the jews. He decides to comfort the ‘Enemies of happiness’.
Although his parents think this has to do with his puberty, he makes friends with Awromele, the son of a rabbi, who suggests he gets circumcised and takes Hebrew lessons. After the problematic circumcision Xavier is certain of his messianistic aspirations: he turns to painting and leaves with Awromele to Amsterdam where he gets rejected by the Rietveld Art Academy. Awromele gets a job at a supermarket. Soon they will go to Israel where Xavier will make it to president.
The universe of The Jewish Messiah is one of pain. All of its characters seem to search for one thing: salvation.

[ The Penguin Press ]


Left: the paperback edition was published in February 2009.


Book party

Above: Arnon Grunberg and with Zadie Smith at the launch party of The Jewish Messiah in the Forward Building in New York at the 21st of March 2008. Photos by: Patrick McMullan

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