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
Nora Gold, born and raised in Montreal, is a prize-winning author. Her recent novel, Fields of Exile, won the 2015 Canadian Jewish Literary Award, and was widely praised, including by Irwin Cotler, Ruth Wisse and Cynthia Ozick. Ozick called Fields of Exile “a brave and luminous book” that she read “with nonstop enthralled admiration.” Gold’s previous book, Marrow and Other Stories, won a Canadian Jewish Book Award (1999), and Alice Munro, after reading the title story, wrote to Gold, saying “Bravo!” In addition to her writing, Dr. Gold is the founder and editor of the prestigious online literary journal Jewish Fiction.net which has readers in 140 countries. Gold is also the Writer-in-Residence and an Associate Scholar at the Centre for Women's Studies in Education, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, where she coordinates the Wonderful Women Writers Series.
A Wonderful StoryThe 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.