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The Weight of Ink

The Weight of Ink

Rachel Kadish

  • awardWinner, Jewish Book Council Award, United States, 2017
  • award, Finalist, Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, United States, 2019
  • A USA Today Bestseller

    An Amazon Best Book of the Year

    Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

    When Helen is summoned by a former student to view a cache of newly discovered seventeenth-century Jewish documents, she enlists the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents’ scribe, the elusive “Aleph”.

    Electrifying and ambitious, The Weight of Ink is about women separated by centuries–and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.


    ANZ LitLovers blog 

    Rachel Kadish
    About the Author

    Rachel Kadish is the award-winning author of the novels From a Sealed Room, Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story and The Weight of Ink, as well as the novella I Was Here. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times, Ploughshares, and Tin House, and has been anthologised in the Pushcart Prize Anthology and elsewhere. She lives outside Boston and...

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    14 May 2018
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    Praise for Rachel Kadish
    andThe Weight of Ink

    “A gifted writer, astonishingly adept at nuance, narration, and the politics of passion.”

    “This astonishing third novel from Kadish introduces readers to the 17th-century Anglo-Jewish world with not only excellent scholarship, but also fine storytelling. The riveting narrative and well-honed characters will earn a place in readers’ hearts.”

    “Like A.S. Byatt’s Possession and Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, this emotionally rewarding novel follows […] present-day academics trying to make sense of a mystery from the past… Vivid and memorable.”

    “An unforgettable quest… Kadish’s characters are memorable, and we’re treated to a host of them…From Shakespeare’s Dark Lady to Spinoza’s philosophical heresies, Kadish leaves no stone unturned in this moving historical epic. Chock-full of rich detail and literary intrigue.”

    “Kadish positions two women born centuries apart yet united by a thirst for knowledge at the core of a richly textured, addictive novel…Kadish has fashioned a suspenseful literary tale that serves as a compelling tribute to women across the centuries committed to living, breathing, and celebrating the life of the mind.”

    ‘So many historical novels play with the “across worlds and centuries” trope, but this one really delivers, tying characters and manuscripts together with deep assurance. A book to get lost in.’

    ‘So powerful and visceral…Incredible…I haven’t been able to read a book since.’

    The Weight of Ink hooked me so deeply…Kadish, with storytelling genius, mirrors events and eureka moments across the centuries, binding the characters to one another. And an enormously satisfying ending wraps everything up while leaving enough rough edges to mimic the loose ends of real life.’

    ‘A sophisticated twining of literature and early modern history, The Weight of Ink expertly layers research and imagination, blending historical romance with intellectually satisfying metafiction.’

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