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The Books of Jacob

with Bruce Bigley

Class Description

The Books of Jacob or A Fantastic Journey Across Seven Borders, Five Languages, and Three Major Religions, Not Counting the Minor Sects “Told by the DEAD, supplemented by the AUTHOR, drawing from a range of BOOKS, and aided by IMAGINATION, which being the greatest natural GIFT of any person. That the WISE might have it for a record that my compatriots REFLECT, laypersons gain some UNDERSTANDING and melancholy souls obtain some slight enjoyment.” The Books of Jacob is a historical novel of a scope comparable to War and Peace, set in Poland and adjacent countries. It’s about a Jewish messiah figure and the movement he inspired in the last part of the 18th Century, which saw Poland, the largest country in Europe and the most tolerant of Jews when the novel begins, disappear by the end of the novel, gobbled up by three “partitions by the Empires of Prussia, Austria, and Russia.” The Author won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2018. Because the novel is 960 pages long, longer than the novels I usually teach, I am dividing it into two quarters, finishing the novel in the winter 2024 quarter, perhaps adding Olga Tokarczuk’s short novel Drive Your Cart Over the Bones of the Dead. Besides the length, the novel treats a historical period and region few of us know much about, and the confusion of Polish names is even worse than Russian. I will have aids to help students with these issues. Otherwise, it is a great read. We will be reading 50-70 pages a week. For more information, check out the Wikipedia article. Many of the characters have Wikipedia articles as well. Thursdays, 10:30 – 12:00 INSTRUCTOR ZOOM Class Limit: 20

  • Starts Sep 28
  • 40 US dollars
  • Zoom

Available spots

Class Schedule

Cancellation Policy

Class fees will be refunded 100% if an instructor cancels class or a student drops before the second meeting of the class.

Contact Details


3841 NE 123rd St, Seattle, WA, USA

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