Friday, February 04, 2005


Tamar Yellin's first novel, The Genizah at the House of Shepher, will appear in March from Toby Press. The book is getting great advance reviews from places like Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal. Kirkus Reviews, for example, wrote that Genizah is:

"A warmly portrayed, densely researched fictional history of a scattered Jewish clan migrated to Jerusalem... a fascinating, labyrinthine journey, joined to the modern-day suspense...Cohesively combines the epic and personal sense of sorrow and nostalgia rooted in home."

There's information on the background of the novel here.

Facing the Wrath of the Five Questions

Tamar Yellin literally lives a stone's throw away from where the Bronte sisters grew up, in Yorkshire. Yorkshire is both sheep country and an area mythologized in countless homicide detective novels. Coming from such a rough-and-tumble area has made Yellin tough enough to take on the infamous Five Questions.

Why should readers pick up your book as opposed to, say, just about anybody else's book?
Because it has such a beautiful cover.

Does your book have any socially redeeming qualities? If so, what are they?
Well, it should keep people off the streets for a few hours. I hope it won't drive them to drink.

Does your book have any medicinal or mental health value to readers?
They will learn how to treat cholera by rubbing the convulsed patient with oil and mustard and applying vinegar poultices, and by playing music and making jokes to cheer them up. The book should also make them laugh, and laughter is good for you. It stops you catching cholera.

Assume your book has been filed under "Ages 8 to 12" in the children's section, perhaps by mistake, perhaps not. How horrified do you imagine a child would be after reading your book, and why? How many years of therapy would the child take to recover from the experience?
I don't think there's anything in the book to horrify a child. Well, the bit about the dead camels might upset them.

If no one buys your book and you are unable to continue publishing your fiction due to the intense vilification that occurs in the media, what line of work will you go into?
Writing, probably.


At 12:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The interview made me laugh at 8 am, thus enabling me to settle down to a day's work in the secure knowledge that I am safe from cholera today. Thank you Jeff and Tamar.
Varda, North London.


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