You are traveling, you are perplexed. You want to know.
Brilliantly conceived, flawlessly executed, this extraordinary first novel uses magic realism and travelers’ tales to achieve a startlingly unique revisionist history of the discovery of America. Like a Chagall painting, Levi’s novel weaves together Jewish folk tales, dreams, violins, flamenco, and even Led Zeppelin into a rich, constantly evolving tapestry. Two women–Holland, a documentary filmmaker, and Hanni, who is searching for an ancient family letter–are stranded overnight in Spain. Holland and Hanni find a connection in the same mysterious travel agent, Ben, and in young Isabella, who might be Holland’s daughter and Hanni’s granddaughter. As Hanni’s successfully located letter is read aloud, it reveals the history of the Jewish people, ending with their expulsion from Spain and the discovery of America by Esau, Hanni’s ancestor. It may all be a grand cosmic joke engineered by Ben, but Levi, a cofounder of Granta, has accomplished a stunning tour de force that shouldn’t be missed.