National Jewish Book Award, Goldberg Prize for Fiction
"an antic masterpiece"
- Cathleen Schine, The New York Review of Books
"Audacious… [A] dazzling tragicomic debut"
- Jane Ciabattari, NPR.org
MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 1953. A week before Stalin's death, his final pogrom is in full swing. Three government goons arrive in the middle of the night to arrest Solomon Shimonovich Levinson, an actor from the defunct State Jewish Theater. But Levinson, now an old man, is a veteran of past wars, and his shocking response to the intruders sets in motion a series of events both zany and deadly as he proceeds to assemble a ragtag group to help him enact a mad-brilliant plot: the assassination of a tyrant.
Levinson's cast of unlikely heroes includes Aleksandr Kogan, a machine gunner in Levinson's Red Army band who has since become one of Moscow's premier surgeons; Frederich Lewis, an African American who came to the USSR to build smelters and stayed to work as an engineers; and Kima Petrova, an enigmatic young woman with a score to settle. And wandering through the narrative like a crazy Soviet Ragtime are such historical figures as Paul Robeson, Solomon Mikhoels, and Marc Chagall.As hilarious as it is moving, as intellectual as it is violent—with echoes of Inglourious Basterds and Seven Samurai--The Yid is a tragicomic masterpiece of historical fiction.
Press for The Yid