Sponsored Links

Monday, October 1, 2018

People of the Book | Frank Talora | Portfolio
src: franktalora.com
This article is about the novel by Geraldine Brooks. For the article about the theological concept in Islam, see People of the Book.

People of the Book is a 2008 historical novel by Geraldine Brooks. The story focuses on imagined events surrounding protagonist and real historical past of the still extant Sarajevo Haggadah, one of the oldest surviving Jewish illuminated texts.

Video People of the Book (novel)

Plot summary

The novel tells the fictional story of Hanna Heath, an Australian book conservator who is responsible for restoring the Haggadah. The story alternates between sections set in the present day with Heath and other sections showing the history of the Haggadah.

Told in reverse chronological order, the story follows the Haggadah backward in time as it travels across Europe, from war-torn Sarajevo to the book's origins. It also explains such clues as missing silver clasps, preserved butterfly remnants, and various stains and spots, which are all eventually explained as part of the manuscript's long history.

Maps People of the Book (novel)

Factual background

The book's Afterword briefly explains which parts of the novel are based on fact and which are imaginary. Geraldine Brooks wrote an article for The New Yorker that provides more details about the Sarajevo Haggadah and its real-life rescuers, especially Dervis Korkut, who hid it from the Nazis. It also explains that Lola, the young Jewish guerrilla fighter in the novel, is based on a real person named Mira Papo, who was sheltered by Dervis Korkut and his wife Servet.

Critical reception

The novel has been compared with Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, with USA Today calling it an erudite version of Brown's work, while other reviewers have noted that it is slower paced, that there are no cliffhangers, and that readers "are never convinced . . . (by its) contrived and cliched personal story."


  • 2008: The Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) Book of the Year and Literary Fiction Book of the Year


External links

  • "I Have This Paper which I Know Comes from Israel", an interview with Davor Bakovic about his mother, Mira, a guerrilla fighter against the Nazis, on whom the character of Lola is based
  • "2nd Annual Interfaith Heroes Month No. 23: Dervis Korkut" - information and photos on Dervis and Servet Korkut, on whom the characters of Serif and Stela Kamal are based

Source of article : Wikipedia