The Book of Jeremiah
May 27, 2019
Julie Zuckerman’s moving and engrossing debut novel-in-stories, The Book of Jeremiah (Press 53, 2019), tells the story of awkward but endearing Jeremiah Gerstler—the son of immigrants, brilliant political science professor, husband, and father. Jeremiah has yearned for respect and acceptance his entire life, and no matter his success, he still strives for more. As a boy, he was feisty and irreverent and constantly compared to his sweet and well-behaved older brother, Lenny. At the university, he worries he is a token hire. Occasionally, he’s combative with colleagues, especially as he ages. But there is a sweetness to Gerstler, too, and an abiding loyalty and affection for those he loves. When he can overcome his worst impulses, his moments of humility become among the best measures of his achievements. Spanning eight decades and interwoven with the Jewish experience of the 20th century, Julie Zuckerman charts Jeremiah’s life from boyhood, through service in WWII, to marriage and children, a professorship and finally retirement, with compassion, honesty, and a respect that even Gerstler himself would find touching.
Julie’s fiction and non-fiction has appeared in a variety of publications, including The SFWP Quarterly, The MacGuffin, Salt Hill, Sixfold, The Coil, Ellipsis, MoonPark Review and others. A native of Connecticut, she lives in Modiin, Israel, with her husband and four children. The Book of Jeremiah was the runner-up for the 2018 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction.