un­holy grail

Al­ter­nate his­tory mae­stro Lavie Tid­har heads to­wards an Un­holy Land

SFX - - Red Alert -

an over­ture from Joseph Cham­ber­lain to the leader of the Zion­ist move­ment to give the Jewish peo­ple a home­land on the bor­der of Uganda isn’t the usual start­ing point for a fan­tasy novel. But when Lavie Tid­har, ac­claimed au­thor of Osama and A Man Lies Dream­ing, chanced upon this nugget from his­tory, he was in­stantly in­spired.

“I be­came in­ter­ested in this idea of a peace­ful Mid­dle East,” Tid­har says of his new novel, Un­holy Land. “I wanted to write a po­lit­i­cal book, but I didn’t want to give up on the stuff I like, which is genre, so there are Love­craft jokes thrown in and there’s a very Roger Ze­lazny vibe. It’s a weird lit­tle beast.”

The book fol­lows time-trav­el­ling pulp fic­tion au­thor Lior Tirosh, who, af­ter vis­it­ing Palestina – the Jewish state founded in the early 20th cen­tury – finds him­self the prime sus­pect in a se­ries of mur­ders.

“Like all my books, it kind of falls in that crack be­tween genre and lit­er­a­ture and po­lit­i­cal fic­tion,” Tid­har says, “so peo­ple who want the Love­craft jokes, they don’t re­ally want you to talk about the Is­raeliPales­tinian sit­u­a­tion, and peo­ple who want a se­ri­ous novel don’t re­ally want jokes about Yid­dish porn mag­a­zines!” SO

Un­holy Land is out on 22 No­vem­ber.

Lavie Tid­har only hangs out in cool places.

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