The Genizah at the House of Shepher
Toby Press, March 2005

Beginning with a search for the ten lost tribes and ending in an attic, where lies an important bible which has been missing for seventy-nine years, The Genizah at the House of Shepher explores themes of history and myth, heritage and selfhood from a keenly contemporary perspective.

Genizah (the Hebrew word, meaning literally "hiding place," refers to a depository for old or damaged sacred documents) is the saga of a Jerusalem family stretching over a hundred and forty-five years and four generations, but it is also a thriller about a missing biblical codex and the search for the true text of the Bible. Returning to her grandparents' house in Jerusalem after a long absence, Shulamit, a biblical scholar, becomes embroiled in a family feud over possession of the so-called Shepher Codex, a mysterious and valuable manuscript of the Pentateuch which has been discovered in the attic. In unravelling the origins of the Codex Shulamit uncovers not only her ancestors' history but is obliged to reconsider her own past, her present, and ultimately, her choices for the future.

Moving from family comedy to pathos to Talmudic-style fable, the tale of the family Shepher, their aspirations, feuds and love affairs, is a large canvas novel of exile and belonging, displacement and the struggle for identity.


Read a preview of The Genizah at the House of Shepher on Jeff VanderMeer's blog

View the Toby Press catalogue entry for the novel here.

"A great writer."
Zoran Zivkovic

Read the opening chapters of the novel here.


 
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