An intellectual and emotional jigsaw puzzle of a novel for readers of A. S. Byatt's Possession and Geraldine Brooks's People of the Book.
Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents' scribe, the elusive "Aleph." Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.
Rachel Kadish is the author of the novels From a Sealed Room and Tolstoy Lied: a Love Story, and the novella I Was Here. Her work has been read on National Public Radio and has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, Zoetrope, Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Poets & Writers, Bomb, and elsewhere, and has been anthologized in the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She has been a fiction fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and of the Massachusetts Cultural Council as well as a resident at the Yaddo and MacDowell colonies. She has received both the John Gardner Fiction Award and the Koret Foundation’s Young Writer on Jewish Themes award, and was a writer-in-residence at Stanford University. She lives outside Boston, where she teaches in Lesley University’s MFA program in creative writing.
Joanna Rakoff is the author of the bestselling memoir My Salinger Year, which has been published in twelve countries and seven languages, and is currently being adapted for film. Her novel A Fortunate Age won the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers and the Elle Readers’ Prize, and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a San Francisco Chronicle best seller. She has written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Vogue, and other publications. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.