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Fiction Literary

Dead Man, The

by (author) Nora Gold

Inanna Publications & Education Inc.
Initial publish date
Apr 2016
Literary, Jewish, Contemporary Women
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2016
    List Price

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The Dead Man is a compelling novel about a woman who is obsessed. Eve, a composer of sacred music and a music therapist, is well aware of the saying, "Physician, heal thyself," but she just can't seem to do this. For some unknown reason, she-- a sensible, intelligent professional-- can't recover from a brief relationship she had five years ago with a world-famous music critic named Jake. This obsession with Jake is a mystery to Eve's friends, and also to her. In an attempt to solve this mystery, she "returns to the scene of the crime": Israel, where Jake still lives, and where they first fell in love. There she revisits all their old haunts and struggles to complete the song cycle she started composing five years ago about Jake but hasn't been able to finish. Gradually the dark mystery behind their complex relationship begins to unravel. Eve discovers the forgotten childhood memories, losses, and desires that are encapsulated in her connection to Jake. And then, inspired by all the music she hears around her (including the singing of birds, the crying of babies, and the honking of cars), she succeeds in finally completing her song cycle and setting her obsession to rest. This novel, filled with music, dealing with themes of love, grief, early loss, and the power of art, will resonate deeply with anyone who has ever loved and lost, and will continue to resound and echo for a long time afterward.

About the author

Dr. Nora Gold is a prize-winning author and the founder and editor-in-chief of the prestigious literary journal Jewish Fiction .net, which has readers in 140 countries. Gold’s first book, Marrow and Other Stories, won a Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award and was praised by Alice Munro. Her second book, Fields of Exile, won the inaugural Canadian Jewish Literary Award for best novel. The Dead Man received a Canada Council for the Arts translation grant and was published in Hebrew. 18: Jewish Stories Translated from 18 Languages, an anthology of translated works, was praised by Publishers Weekly, Cynthia Ozick, and Dara Horn. In Sickness and In Health/Yom Kippur in a Gym (two novellas) will be published on March 1, 2024 with Guernica.

Nora Gold's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The Dead Man is a wonderfully affecting, memorable, and original tale. Nora Gold is a natural storyteller, and her ability to make us understand the shimmering and complex landscape of love has its haunting echoes in the Israeli landscape. This is an ingeniously and gorgeously crafted story, radiantly musical in its rich textures."
-- Jay Neugeboren, author of Imagining Robert, Max Baer and the Star of David, etc.

"The Dead Man is terrific. Eve, a composer obsessed with a former lover, pulls us deep into her evolution thanks to astute, compassionate novelist Nora Gold. This compelling story is a must-read for anyone fascinated by the complexity of male-female relationships and the mysterious radioactivity of love."
-- Susan Weidman Schneider, Editor-in-Chief, Lilith Magazine

"Nora Gold's The Dead Man is a powerful story about a woman's struggle with love and loss, and how her art-- her music-- becomes both the expression of and antidote to the darkness she has felt. This is a wonderful story about resilience, about the ability of the human spirit not only to repair and redeem itself, but-- even more-- to triumph over darkness and adversity."
-- Joseph Kertes, author of Gratitude and The Afterlife of Stars

"Nora Gold's writing is beautiful, nuanced, and honest. The Dead Man is an intelligent novel about love and art, and the passions that fuel them. Set against the backdrop of contemporary Israel, The Dead Man portrays a talented, obsessed composer, and offers a rare glimpse into the fascinating world of sacred Jewish music."
-- Ayelet Tsabari, author of The Best Place on Earth

"Nora Gold writes with consummate skill. She's the real thing."
-- George Jonas, author, poet, journalist

"Nora Gold has an eye and ear for colourful detail in this novel about the creative process, lifting the veil on unknown corners of the world of Jewish music."
-- Charles Heller, author of What To Listen For in Jewish Music

User Reviews

A Wonderful Story

The Dead Man by Nora Gold is a story of widowed Eve’s love affair with a married man set in Toronto and Jerusalem. Through Eve’s eyes, the reader learns about her struggle to be out of her obsession for Jake.

Eve is a well-developed character, an ambitious music therapist, but she is emotionally vulnerable. As Eve’s Aunt Molly said, “Our love is deep. When we love, we really love.” Eve’s family tradition and her love and admiration of her father could explain the reason of her complex feelings for Jake. Finally, her passion for music saves her from the grips of her obsession; her composition, The Song of the Morning Dove, helps end her “love-and-hate cycle.”

The author’s vivid descriptions of Jewish music, kibbutz in Jerusalem, and details of the protagonist’s inner world make the reader turn the pages. The readers who enjoy Alice Munro’s stories will enjoy The Dead Man.

Other titles by Nora Gold