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In Conversation with Adam Mansbach, the author of The Golem of Brooklyn

Thursday, October 26, 2023 @ 6:30 pm8:00 pm

Osher Marin JCC
200 North San Pedro Road
San Rafael, CA 94903 United States
Join us at the Marin JCC for a conversation with New York Times #1 bestselling author Adam Mansbach about his new book The Golem of Brooklyn

THE GOLEM OF BROOKLYN (One World, trade paperback, on sale September 26, 2023) is a ferociously funny reimagining of the golem of Jewish folklore. He is accidentally brought to life in a basement apartment in Brooklyn and embarks on an absurd road trip through modern America to face off against the rising threat of antisemitism in America. A thought-provoking novel from from Adam Mansbach, author of the New York Times bestselling pseudo-children’s book Go the F*ck to Sleep, The Golem of Brooklyn is a modern-day adventure shadowed by an ancient past.

Join us at the Marin JCC to celebrate the launch of this new novel with author Adam Mansbach in conversation with local writer Josh Healy. Copperfield Books will be on site to sell copies of the book and Adam will sign books after the reading and conversation.

In Ashkenazi Jewish tales, a golem is a humanoid created from mud or clay, built by a rabbi to defend the Jewish people in a time of crisis. But in Mansbach’s tale, the Golem of Brooklyn is not brought to life by a rabbi, or for a good reason; he is made by an art teacher named Len Bronstein who gets extremely stoned one summer day, steals a large quantity of clay from his school, and manages to bring his creation to life despite knowing little about Judaism and less about golems.

The Golem (who initially only speaks Yiddish) learns English by binge-watching Curb Your Enthusiasm after ingesting a massive amount of LSD and reveals that he is a creature with an ancestral memory. The Golem recalls every previous iteration of himself and the traumas he’s experienced throughout history. He demands to know what crisis has prompted his re-creation and whom he must destroy. When he is shown a video of white nationalists marching and chanting “Jews will not replace us,” the answer becomes clear. With the memory of his previous lives in tow, The Golem reminds us that antisemitism is a societal affliction that has never gone away. And Mansbach, with his signature dark wit, reveals an uncomfortable truth: sometimes our present is not so removed from history as we might like to think.

“I started thinking about this book last spring, during a resurgence and a mainstreaming of antisemitism; a time when a golem seemed like something the world really needed,” said Mansbach. “But the thing that clicked and got me writing was this idea of the golem as a repository of Jewish memory and trauma. That’s not what he is in the folklore. But what would it mean? Where would he have been? What would his perspective on modern antisemitism be?” – Adam Mansbach

Adam Mansbach is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Go the Fuck to Sleep, as well as the novels Rage is Back, The End of the Jews (winner of the California Book Award), and Angry Black White Boy, and the memoir-in-verse I Had a Brother Once. With Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel, he co-authored For This We Left Egypt? and the bestselling A Field Guide to the Jewish People, and his books for young readers include the New York Times bestseller Just Try One Bite and the award-winning Jake the Fake series. The screenwriter of the acclaimed Netflix Original film Barry, Mansbach is the recipient of a Sundance Screenwriting Lab fellowship and a two-time winner of the Reed Award and the American Association of Political Consultants’ Gold Pollie Award, for his 2012 Obama/Biden campaign video “Wake the Fuck Up,” and his 2020 Biden/Harris campaign ad “Same Old,” both starring Samuel L. Jackson. Mansbach is also the founder of the 1990s hip hop journal Elementary, and worked for years as a drum tech for the legendary drummer Elvin Jones. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The Believer, The Guardian, and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, The Moth Storytelling Hour, and This American Life. His new novel is The Golem of Brooklyn.


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