Stephanie Feldman

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The Angel of Losses: A Novel

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Q&A | Behind the Book | Press Kit (PDF) | Reader Guide (to come)

The Tiger’s Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters. (Ecco/HarperCollins, July 2014.)

When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a miracle worker named the White Rebbe and the enigmatic Angel of Losses, guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet that completes the secret name of God.

Years later, Eli’s granddaughter Marjorie stumbles upon his notebook and everything she thought she knew about her grandfather—and her family—comes undone. To learn the truth about Eli’s origins and unlock the secrets he kept, she embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from the medieval Holy Land to eighteenth-century Venice and Nazi-occupied Lithuania. What she finds leads her back to present-day New York City and her estranged sister, Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past. 

Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Losses is a family story of what lasts, and of what we can—and cannot—escape.

Advance Praise

A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection (fall 2014)

"Stephanie Feldman is one of the smartest and most original young writers at work today.  Here she re-imagines the eternally exiled Wandering Jew as a wonderworker, a frightened boy in the Vilna ghetto, a feminist scholar in Coney Island. With a deft understanding of the irreducibility of human relationships, Stephanie leads us through love and loss and back to love again. Watch out for her. She is here to stay." —Sheri Holman, author of Witches on the Road Tonight and The Dress Lodger

"Lucid, tender and masterfully portrayed, The Angel of Losses is an intergenerational story of perseverance and love in a changing world. Rich with Jewish lore and history, there is magic at play here in more than one sense. A must-read.” —G. Willow Wilson, author of Alif the Unseen

"Stephanie Feldman writes with tremendous warmth, tenderness and insight, and THE ANGEL OF LOSSES is a smart and beautiful novel that is all at once a literary thriller, a multigenerational family saga and a stunning exploration of Jewish mysticism. I loved this book." –Molly Antopol, National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree and author of The UnAmericans: Stories

"This impressive debut from Feldman is a page-turner that celebrates sisterly love." —Publishers Weekly

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman’s debut novel.  …The plot may have readers flipping back to recall earlier details, as the book winds through 1700s shtetl life, WWII-era Lithuania, and present-day New York, but the vivid, imaginative unraveling makes the investigative approach to reading this tale worthwhile." —Booklist

"Feldman’s debut novel is an unusual combination of literary thriller, family drama, and Jewish mysticism … Fans of Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian or the works of Lev Grossman will find something here in a similar vein, but with a little quieter pacing and a little more spirituality." —Library Journal

This book was amazing. The protagonist, a grad student in literature, uncovers a story scribbled down by her grandfather, and everything starts to unravel. Jewish folklore. Family secrets. Hidden identities. Hidden notebooks. Bitter estrangements. The past–pasts–roaring up to meet the present… It’s beautifully constructed and just plain beautiful. Mark your calendars now, people. Mark them now. ” —BOOKRIOT

Named as one of the “Essential Books Coming in 2014” by io9