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The Dyke and the Dybbuk: A Novel Paperback – September 18, 1998
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According to Jewish folklore, a dybbuk is the spirit of a dead person who possesses the body of one yet living. The dybbuk Kokos missed her assignment and was trapped in a tree for 200 years. Now free in twentieth-century London, she tracks the descendant of her original assignee, one Rainbow Rosenbloom, a lesbian. Galford, who lived in New York City until just after the Stonewall riots, moved to Scotland, then to London in the early 1980s, serves up a deliciously absurd stew of mischievous spirits, contemporary Jews, and British dykes, all basted with ladles of laughter. Marie Kuda --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
A fun, feisty, feminist romp through Jewish folklore as an ancient spirit returns to haunt a modern-day London lesbian. Two hundred years ago, when Anya's lover, Gittel, broke her promise of ``undying sisterhood'' by marrying a Torah scholar, Anya conjured up a vicious curse whereby Gittel and every first-born female descendant for 33 generations would be possessed by a dybbuk and bear only daughters. Dybbuk Kokos, the soul-stealer who gets assigned this job by the Head Office, runs into trouble when the family turns to her nemesis, the Sage of Limnititzk, for help; he drives Kokos from Gittel and traps her in a tree. When a bolt of lightning releases Kokos two centuries later, her reacclimation to modern times proves challenging. The Head Office has been taken over by a high-tech multinational corporation with everything from a plan to terminate her contract to an employee health club. (Who knew demons had to watch their figures?) Kokos insists on tracking down Gittel's 20th-century descendant, but she discovers that Rainbow Rosenbloom, a political, lesbian film-critic-cum-taxi- driver, is a tough nut to haunt. Everyone from the bevy of aunts who look after her to her friends and co-workers already consider Rainbow a little crazy, so Kokos has to modify her approach; instead of making Rainbow lose it, she makes her into a Nice Jewish Girl. On the trail of a beautiful but straight orthodox woman, Rainbow even considers marrying a man and returning to her roots to be closer to her dream girl. This plan serves Kokos well, since it also ensures future generations to haunt. But Galford (Queendom Come, not reviewed) closes the novel with a surprise twist that shows just how formidable Rainbow can be. Craft, camp, and chutzpah. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The ending is very good, the erotica subdued, the straight people are people and even the esteemed rabbi who runs between the raindrops is portrayed as a human being. My favorite character is the ladylike Hasidic housewife who read her father's spellbooks and religious tomes as a girl when company came and she got to sleep on the couch in his study, and who puts efficient spells on Kokos. She is a good foil for Kokos. If you are Jewish, straight, gay, have Jewish friends, or are a fan of Isaac Bashevis Singer, you'll like this book. I think it's pretty obvious that Kokos is a demon, not a dybbuk, but the book is such a fun romp that you can overlook that.