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Judenstaat Is a Striking Vision of a World Without an Israel

Judenstaat: A Novel - Simone Zelitch

Might I begin by saying that Booklikes not having a cover for this novel is weak as fuck. I've recently been assigned a bunch of Jewish science fiction to read for my B&N gig, partially because of my own interest, certainly. It's been an illuminating couple of books, grounding myself in the terminology and world view of a real world people set into fictional worlds.


Judenstaat is an alternate history in which Israel does not exist. Instead the Jewish state encompasses Saxony in Germany, bordered between East and West. It's a murder mystery of sorts (and writ large), beginning with the almost long ago murder of a Saxon conductor. Slow moving and (honestly) hard to get into, Judenstaat eventually rewards the patient. But you're going to have to do a dozen googles and struggle to remember your hazy Soviet history, because the author is not going to fuck around and hold your hand. Good. The way it should be.