Damascus, 840. A stormy nighttime encounter between the Italian monk Tomaso and Aslan Farhi, a Jewish youth and scion of a wealthy family of merchants, ends in an unexpected death with terrible ramifications: the Jews of Damascus are accused of having murdered the monk in order to use his blood for the baking of Passover matzahs. In rich, vivid language that startles with its virtuosity and versatility, Death of a Monk presents a fictionalized account of the historical event known as the Damascus Blood Libel.
France: Editions du Seuil; Greece: Metaixmio; Holland: Ambo/Anthos; Israel: Xargol; UK: Harvill
“A little masterpiece; a jewel of erudition, humor and subversion. One could not dream of a more beautiful imbroglio, subtle intrigues and unforeseen developments. All that set in Damascus, a town full of sensuality, perfume and gluttonous. A dazzling story with real historical facts… ” – Livres Hebdo
“…[A] very intense, cruel and sometimes droll narrative in which death is the invitee at the last hour which will remain after all the others…” – Le Monde
“It is almost a plot a la The Da Vinci Code: what really happened to Father Tommaso? Death of a Monk revisits an authentic event that happened in Damascus in 1840 and inserts a gay element. An excellent historical novel that unites marvelous descriptions of the epoch with a somewhat sassy thesis.” – Tetu
“Death of a Monk is a fascinating composite of history and hysteria, of a confessional novel and an actual historical event. It is a highly ambitious, excellent debut.” – Ha’aretz