LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Waiting for the Messiah by Sheldon Greene
Monday, March 9, 2020 || 6pm
Book Passage-San Francisco|| San Francisco Ferry Plaza ||
Join us for what Kirkus Review calls “A profoundly funny meditation on how one can find strength in religion.
“In Greene’s novel, the director of a new Jewish boarding school rankles the community with his offbeat style—and there are rumors that he might be the Messiah.
Nudelman, a successful and irrepressible truck salesman proposes a novel idea to the Synagogue Board in the Jewish community in Bolton, a small town in Western Pennsylvania: to start a Jewish boarding school. Although they initially reject the proposal, Nudelman wins them over, suggesting that an old retirement home has plenty of room to house incoming students, and the endowment that sustains it is considerable enough to be partially repurposed. The board hires a Russian school director, Lev Kyol—“tall, angular man, weathered as an unpainted barn”—who admits a Palestinian boy to the school, inaugurates a celebratory Palestinian Day, and organizes a fundraiser for a Catholic hostel. Some members of the community are apoplectic—teacher Martin Schweig schemes to get Lev deported—while others think that he’s the Messiah. The author’s artful brew of farcical comedy and theological provocation may remind readers of the work of Booker Prize–winning novelist Howard Jacobson. Throughout, Greene wisely explores the salutary power of faith, which Mendel calls a “kind of spiritual walker for the psychologically disabled.”
Sheldon Greene has worked simultaneously as a lawyer, an executive, and a novelist with an early stint as a bureaucrat.As General Counsel to California Rural Legal Assistance he filed a suit which blocked Governor Reagan’s evisceration of health assistance for the working poor, and that same year brought a suit against the U. S. Department of Labor which terminated the federal government’s program to bring temporary farm workers from Mexico.His books include:
Lost and Found (1980) – Historical Fiction, Burnt Umber (2001) – Historical Fiction, Prodigal Sons (2009) – HistoricalThriller, Pursuit of Happiness (2010) – Historical Fiction, After the Parch (2014) – Speculative Fiction and The Seed Apple (2016) – Historical Fiction