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Sharon Berg, a middle-aged divorcee with two children has gainful employment working overtime for the mysterious Rabbi Joachim, spiritual director of the Center for Mystical Judaism. Set in Coney Island, Sharon’s efforts at making a life for herself and her children take readers on a journey though Hasidism as it exists today including its schools for children and the fundamentalist characters that run them. When the Rabbi travels to Israel on a mission, and fails to return, Sharon must confront difficult choices and herself.
Recipient of the Theodore Hoepfner Fiction Award and past writer-in-residence at the Mishkenot Sha’ananim Jerusalem Art Colony, Perle Besserman was praised by Isaac Bashevis Singer for the “clarity and feeling for mystic lore” of her writing and by Publisher’s Weekly for its “wisdom [that] points to a universal practice of the heart.” Her fiction includes novels Pilgrimage (Houghton Mifflin), Kabuki Boy (Aqueous Books) and Widow Zion (Pinyon Publishing), and the short story collection Yeshiva Girl (Homebound Publishing). Her stories regularly appear in print journals like Agni, The Southern Humanities Review, The Nebraska Review, Transatlantic Review, Southerly, North American Review, and in numerous literary journals online. Besserman’s creative non-fiction includes many books on mysticism and spirituality, like The Shambhala Guide to Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism (Shambhala/Random House); Teachings of the Jewish Mystics (Shambhala/Random House); A New Kabbalah for Women (Palgrave Macmillan); A New Zen for Women (Palgrave Macmillan); and, most recently, with Manfred Steger, Grassroots Zen: Community and Practice in the 21st-Century (Monkfish Book Publishing). Her books have been recorded and translated into over fourteen languages. www.perlebesserman.net