THE DYKE AND THE DYBBUK by Ellen Galford

THE DYKE AND THE DYBBUK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A fun, feisty, feminist romp through Jewish folklore as an ancient spirit returns to haunt a modern-day London lesbian. Two hundred years ago, when Anya's lover, Gittel, broke her promise of ""undying sisterhood"" by marrying a Torah scholar, Anya conjured up a vicious curse whereby Gittel and every first-born female descendant for 33 generations would be possessed by a dybbuk and bear only daughters. Dybbuk Kokos, the soul-stealer who gets assigned this job by the Head Office, runs into trouble when the family turns to her nemesis, the Sage of Limnititzk, for help; he drives Kokos from Gittel and traps her in a tree. When a bolt of lightning releases Kokos two centuries later, her reacclimation to modern times proves challenging. The Head Office has been taken over by a high-tech multinational corporation with everything from a plan to terminate her contract to an employee health club. (Who knew demons had to watch their figures?) Kokos insists on tracking down Gittel's 20th-century descendant, but she discovers that Rainbow Rosenbloom, a political, lesbian film-critic-cum-taxi-driver, is a tough nut to haunt. Everyone from the bevy of aunts who look after her to her friends and co-workers already consider Rainbow a little crazy, so Kokos has to modify her approach; instead of making Rainbow lose it, she makes her into a Nice Jewish Girl. On the trail of a beautiful but straight orthodox woman, Rainbow even considers marrying a man and returning to her roots to be closer to her dream girl. This plan serves Kokos well, since it also ensures future generations to haunt. But Galford (Queendom Come, not reviewed) closes the novel with a surprise twist that shows just how formidable Rainbow can be. Craft, camp, and chutzpah.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1994
Page count: 248pp
Publisher: Seal