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Kingdom of the Young Paperback – April 4, 2017
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Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Ambitious, original, deliciously philosophical. Kingdom of the Young invites comparison to the crônicas of Clarice Lispector and the fabulas of Italo Calvino.”
Carolyn Cooke, author of Daughters of the Revolution
These stories are dazzling, full of knowledge of the world and of the heart, and written with the pluck and thrum of a flamenco guitarist. Meidav draws you into world after world; she makes you want to sit by your window and listen all night.”
Paul La Farge, author of Luminous Airplanes
"Oh what imagination. Oh what story-telling. What beautiful language. What more do you want? Go ahead and be greedy like me. Meidav, a prose stylist of the first rank, has got us covered."
Mitchell S. Jackson, author of The Residue Years
Edie Meidav’s writing is a cascade of fireworks. Her ideas are little bombsand these stories, fast-spinning sparklers. Her hallucinatory prose flares with color and heart.”
Leela Corman, author of Unterzakhn
An alchemist of empathy, of nuanced observation and unexpected truths, Edie Meidav is a writer whose every magical story probes human experience from triumphs to tragedies and all the terrain between. Kingdom of the Young is nothing short of masterful, the work of a born storyteller in full, glorious voice.”
Bradford Morrow, author of The Forgers
In Kingdom of the Young, whether Edie Meidav riffs on Cuban dogs or a tiny pert woman in a cherry tracksuit’ called Hummingbird, she unfurls a mean sentence.... A collection of surprises, with a sparkling nonfiction coda.”
Terese Svoboda, author of Live Sacrifice
I loved this book. Her stories and essays make a wholea brilliant pairing, each part informing the other, with mutual gravitas and depth.”
Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions
Kingdom of the Young will engage readers for its clear authority, musical language and surprising empathy.”
Gary Shteyngart, author of Little Failure and Super Sad True Love Story
"Kingdom of the Young is masterfully written. With deep and uncanny empathy, Meidav penetrates to the heart of her characters. The writing is a pleasure to read, ranging widely but always urgent and original, with streaks of sly humor."
Sharon Guskin, author of The Forgetting Time
In every single bit of Meidav’s work, the prose is dazzling. Reading Kingdom of the Young, I was often reminded of two of my favorite writers, Nabokov and Gass.”
Rene Steinke, author of Holy Skirts, finalist for the National Book Award
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Top Customer Reviews
Reviewed by C J Singh (Berkeley, California)
I greatly admired Edie Meidav’s novel CRAWL SPACE, particularly her engrossing portrayal of the Gentile French character’s guilt for having been complicit in transporting thousands of French Jews to Nazi concentration camps.
Last evening, I attended Meidav’s presentation of her new book of fiction and nonfiction at my favorite independent bookstore, Mrs. Dalloway’s, Berkeley.
In her brief presentation, Meidav read the opening story of the book. I noted the narrator’s repeated word-choice of “gypsy” instead of “Roma.” Repeated twenty-two times in the eight-page story! This could be overlooked as the author’s choice of the character’s diction – written in the third-person close point-of-view. (Keep in mind: Mark Twain’s 1885 use of the n-word in “Huckleberry Finn” -- narrated in first-person point-of-view by Huck Finn -- continues to rankle to this day many African-American as well as many other sensitive readers.) The term “gypsy” is just as offensive to the Romani people. See Ian Hancock’s book “We Are the Romani People.” Of British-Roma descent, Hancock, a long-time professor of Linguistics and English at the University of Texas, Austin, is the leading scholar of Romani Studies.
But not only in the opening story, Meidav in her “Nonfiction Coda” chapter “The Question of Travel,” written in first person singular point-of-view, repeats “gypsy” on pages 174 and 175! In fairness to Meidav, I’d like to point that in the same chapter she does use the term Roma twice. Also, for using the term Roma in the jacket’s blurb, my thanks go to the editor of Sarabande Books, the publisher.
In the Nonfiction Coda chapter, Meidav writes: “My first job, age twelve, was to read palms with a friend in Berkeley’s Walnut Square, at which age I found it strangely gratifying that adults would say, ah, really how do you know so much about me?” Charming.
Meidav owes thanks to the Roma for her “first job." They brought the dubious craft of palm-reading from India to Europe in the thirteenth century. “Not just dubious, it's a scientifically invalidated craft,” says the psychologist in my head (PhD, Stanford). Palm-reading is scamming to collect “counseling” fees from the gullible. Many of the “Psychics” charging palm-reading fees in the US are not Roma or Indian-Americans. Neither are the teachers of Yoga, the great gift of India to the world.
(Raised in the Punjab state of northwest India, one of the regions of the Romani people’s origin, I feel great empathy for the plight of the Roma. I’m not of Roma descent and have been living most of my adult years in the Stanford/Berkeley areas of California.)
The plight of the Roma: hundreds of Roma children were the first victims of the Nazis in their experiments to determine the efficacy of gas to kill them and later used to kill the Roma and the Jews ; many Roma child-twins were slaughtered in the Nazi doctor Mengele’s horrendous “medical experiments" designed to find fatal drug dosages; cited in Ian Hancock’s book is the estimate of 1.5 million Roma killed by the Nazis in their “final solution” of the Jews and the Roma “untermenschen” – “subhumans.” Sadly, the Roma are so marginalized that the Roma genocide is relatively unacknowledged in Germany and elsewhere.
President Bill Clinton appointed Ian Hancock on the advisory council of the Holocaust Museum despite stiff opposition by many other council members who didn't want any Roma. To find out who led the opposition to accepting even one Roma in the Council, please look up my review on amazon of the book “Bury Me Standing” by Isabel Fonseca. This inclusion had long been opposed by Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Prize winner! It was only after Wiesel’s resignation, writes Fonseca, herself an American Jew, that one “Gypsy” was allowed onto the museum’s 65-member council.
Justice for the Roma people? When?
Four Star Book.