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Septimania

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Septimania

Jonathan Levi

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$16.95


ISBN 13: 978-1-4683-1428-1
Trim Size: 5 3/8" x 8"
Paperback
Overlook Press
5/16/17

Product Description

Septimania, Jonathan Levi's first novel since 1992's critically acclaimed A Guide for the Perplexed, is a major work―a story at once personal and mythic, with themes as large as the universe and as small as an appleseed.

On an spring afternoon in 1978 in the loft of a church outside Cambridge, England, an organ tuner named Malory loses his virginity to a dyslexic math genius named Louiza. When Louiza disappears, Malory follows her trail to Rome. There, the quest to find his love gets sidetracked when he discovers he is the heir to the Kingdom of Septimania, given by Charlemagne to the Jews of eighth-century France. In the midst of a Rome reeling from the kidnappings and bombs of the Red Brigades, Malory is crowned King of the Jews, Holy Roman Emperor and possibly Caliph of All Islam.

Over the next fifty years, Malory’s search for Louiza leads to encounters with Pope John Paul II, a band of lost Romanians, a magical Bernini statue, Haroun al Rashid of Arabian Nights fame, an elephant that changes color, a shadowy U.S. spy agency and one of the 9/11 bombers, an appleseed from the original Tree of Knowledge, and the secret history of Isaac Newton and his discovery of a Grand Unified Theory that explains everything. It is the quest of a Candide for love and knowledge, and the ultimate discovery that they may be unified after all.

“Stupendous.”
—Álvaro Enrigue, The New York Times Book Review, “By the Book”

“Levi creates an energetically brilliant, genre-defying masterpiece filled with lavish descriptions, mysteries intertwined with history and legend, and a large cast of memorable, offbeat characters. . . . Be prepared to stay up late savoring every word. Although it’s a literary dream of a book, it’s also a storyteller’s work of magic, and a fantastically suspenseful adventure, along the lines of Arturo Pérez Reverte’s The Flanders Panel (1994) and Iain Pears’ The Dream of Scipio (2002), told with the aplomb and smart humor of Michael Chabon and Jonathan Franzen.”
—Booklist (starred review)



Jonathan Levi is an American writer and producer. A founding editor of Granta magazine, Levi is author of two novels, A Guide for the Perplexed and Septimania. His short stories and articles have appeared in many publications including Granta, Condé Nast Traveler, GQ, Terra Nova, The Nation, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times Book Review, and his plays and opera libretti have been performed all over the world. Born in New York, he currently lives in Rome, Italy.

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