Reading Widely Book Club: The Golem of Brooklyn

For this month's Reading Widely Book Club, our Events Coordinator Nora will be leading conversation alongside Khiya Connolly-Sisk on Adam Mansbach's most recent novel, The Golem of Brooklyn.

Book club titles are 10% off when purchased in-store and online.

About the Book

In Ashkenazi Jewish folklore, a golem is a humanoid being created out of mud or clay and animated through secret prayers. Its sole purpose is to defend the Jewish people against the immediate threat of violence. It is always a rabbi who makes a golem, and always in a time of crisis. But Len Bronstein is no rabbi--he's a Brooklyn art teacher who steals a large quantity of clay from his school, gets extremely stoned, and manages to bring his creation to life despite knowing little about Judaism and even less about golems. Unable to communicate with his nine-foot-six, four hundred-pound, Yiddish-speaking guest, Len enlists a bodega clerk and ex-Hasid named Miri Apfelbaum to translate. Eventually, The Golem learns English by binging Curb Your Enthusiasm after ingesting a massive amount of LSD and reveals that he is a creature with an ancestral memory; he recalls every previous iteration of himself, making The Golem a repository of Jewish history and trauma. He demands to know what crisis has prompted his re-creation, and whom must he destroy. When Miri shows him a video of white nationalists marching and chanting "Jews will not replace us," the answer becomes clear.

About the Author

Adam Mansbach is a novelist, screenwriter, cultural critic and humorist. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Go the F*** to Sleep, which has been translated into forty languages, named Time Magazine's 2011 "Thing of the Year," and sold over two million copies worldwide. The 2014 sequel, "You Have to F****** Eat," is also a New York Times bestseller.

Mansbach is the recipient of a Reed Award, a Webby Award, and a Gold Pollie from the American Association of Political Consultants for his 2012 campaign video "Wake The F*** Up," starring Samuel L. Jackson. He was the 2009-11 New Voices Professor of Fiction at Rutgers University, a 2012 Sundance Screenwriting Lab Fellow, and a 2013 Berkeley Repertory Theatre Writing Fellow. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The Believer, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, The Moth Storytelling Hour, and This American Life. Mansbach lives in Berkeley, California, and is a frequent lecturer on college campuses.

Event date: 
Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Event address: 
215 N. Cayuga Street
Dewitt Mall
Ithaca, NY 14850
The Golem of Brooklyn: A Novel By Adam Mansbach Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593729823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - September 26th, 2023