The winner of the Sapir Prize, Israel’s highest literary award, Ruby Namdar’s The Ruined House follows Andrew P. Cohen, a professor of comparative culture at New York University, who is at the zenith of his life. Admired by his students and published in prestigious literary magazines, he is about to receive a coveted promotion — the crowning achievement of an enviable career. He is on excellent terms with Linda, his ex-wife, and his two daughters adore him. His girlfriend, Ann Lee, a former student half his age, offers lively companionship. A man of elevated taste, education, and culture, he is a model of urbanity and success. But the manicured surface of his world begins to crack when strange and inexplicable visions involving an ancient religious ritual take hold of his mind and upend his seemingly serene existence.
Mesmerizing and unsettling, The Ruined House unfolds over the course of one year, as Andrew’s world unravels and he is forced to question all his beliefs. In sumptuous and incantatory prose, Namdar spins a nuanced and provocative tale of materialism, tradition, faith, and the search for meaning in contemporary culture.
On August 29 Rabbi Barbara Symons of Temple David will lead two discussions of The Ruined House in MPL’s Gallery Space — a morning discussion at 10:00 a.m. and an evening discussion at 7:00 p.m. The discussions are free and open to the public. Please join us!
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