The Dyke and the Dybbuk


It’s not easy being a dybbuk. Jewish tradition holds that dybbuks are demons who drive people crazy, but what happens when the Head Office assigns a dybbuk to haunt someone who’s already pretty nuts? In Ellen Galford’s 1994 novel The Dyke and the Dybbuk you’ll find out just how the dybbuk Kokos deals with an extremely difficult assignment: Rainbow Rosenbloom, a lesbian film-critic-cum-taxi-driver in London, already living a pretty crazy life.

Why has Kokos been assigned to Rosenbloom? It turns out that more than 200 years before, Rosenbloom’s ancestor Gittel had a secret relationship with Anya, another woman from her shtetl. Gittel married a Torah scholar, so Anya put a curse on her: that she and her first born would only have daughters for 33 generations. Kokos was assigned to see that the curse was carried out, but got stuck in a tree by a Hasidic sage, and was only freed by a freak lightning strike. So how can Kokos complete her mission? We don’t want to give anything away, but this novel is a feisty romp through gay and Jewish history. Don’t overlook it another day.

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