That might sound obvious, but it’s also descriptive: the author first came onto my radar with 2011’s Osama, a fantastical fever dream of an alternate reality novel in which a private detective in a world in which September 11 never happened hunts for the author of a series of violent pulp novels starring a vigilante named Osama bin Laden. His later novel A Man Lies Dreaming also mixes “reality” and fiction in the story of another pulp novelist, a Jew in a Nazi death camp who gets lost in fantasies in which Adolf Hitler is cast as a down-on-his-luck London private investigator.
Unholy Land similarly blurs the lines between fiction and metafiction, perhaps more so than those earlier works. It’s another book about a novelist, this one a novelist named Lior Tirosh who inhabits an alternate world in which the Jewish state of “Palestina” was established in the early 20th century. Searching for a missing relative, Tirosh gets caught up in events not unlike one of the narratives in his books. Presumably, things get weirder from there.
Tachyon Publications will release Unholy Land in the U.S. in October. Below, check out the official summary and full cover, created by Sarah Anne Langton.
The author of the critically acclaimed, Campbell Award-winning Central Station returns with a subversive new novel evoking The Yiddish Policemen’s Union and The City and the City.
When pulp-fiction writer Lior Tirosh returns to his homeland in East Africa, much has changed. Palestina―a Jewish state established in the early 20th century―is constructing a massive border wall to keep out African refugees. Unrest in the capital, Ararat, is at fever pitch.
While searching for his missing niece, Tirosh begins to act as though he is a detective from one of his own novels. He is pursued by ruthless members of the state’s security apparatus while unearthing deadly conspiracies and impossible realities. For if it is possible for more than one Palestina to exist, the barriers between the worlds are beginning to break.