THE BOOKS OF JACOB
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THE BOOKS OF JACOB

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Author: OLGA TOKARCZUK
Category: FICTION
Language: ENGLISH
About the Book
THE BOOKS OF JACOB

Translated by JENNIFER CROFT

In the mid-eighteenth century, as new ideas begin to sweep the continent, a young Jew of mysterious
origins arrives in a village in Poland. Before long, he has changed not only his name but his persona; visited by what seem to be ecstatic
experiences, Jacob Frank casts a charismatic spell that attracts an increasingly fervent following. In the decade to come, Frank will traverse
the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires, throngs of disciples in his thrall as he reinvents himself again and again, converts to Islam and then Catholicism,
is pilloried as a heretic and revered as the Messiah, and wreaks havoc on the conventional order, Jewish and Christian alike, with scandalous rumours of his sect’s secret rituals
and the spread of his increasingly iconoclastic beliefs. In The Books of Jacob, her masterpiece, 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Olga Tokarczuk writes the story of Frank
through the perspectives of his contemporaries, capturing Enlightenment Europe on the cusp of precipitous change, searching for certainty and longing for transcendence.

‘Olga Tokarczuk is inspired by maps and a perspective from above, which tends to make her microcosmos a mirror of macrocosmos. She constructs her novels in a tension
between cultural opposites: nature versus culture, reason versus madness, male versus female, home versus alienation. Her magnum opus so far is the historical novel The Books of Jacob,
portraying the eighteenth-century mystic and sect leader Jacob Frank. The work also gives us a remarkably rich panorama of an almost neglected chapter in European history’.
–Nobel Committee for Literature

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