The Yiddish Policemans Union

The Yiddish Policemans Union

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What if, as Franklin Roosevelt once proposed, Alaska - and not Israel - had become the homeland for the Jews after World War II? In Michael Chabon's Yiddish-speaking 'Alyeska', Orthodox gangs in side-curls and knee breeches roam the streets of Sitka, where Detective Meyer Landsman discovers the corpse of a heroin-addled chess prodigy in the flophouse Meyer calls home. Marionette strings stretch back to the hands of charismatic Rebbe Gold, leader of a sect that seems to have drawn its mission statement from the Cosa Nostra - but behind Rebbe looms an even larger shadow...Despite sensible protests from Berko, his half-Tlingit, half-Jewish partner, Meyer is determined to unsnarl the meaning behind the murder. Even if that means surrendering his badge and his dignity to the chief of Sitka's homicide unit - also known as his fearsome ex-wife, Bina.


'The Yiddish Policemen's Union' interweaves an homage to the stylish menace of 1940s noir with a bittersweet fable of identity, home and faith. It is a novel of colossal ambition and heart from one of the most important and beloved writers working today.