Book Of Rachel
Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award 2010
A gripping story of a lone Jewish woman battling land sharks to keep her community alive
Rachel lives alone by the sea. Her children have long migrated to Israel as have her Bene Israel Jew neighbours. Taking care of the local synagogue and preparing exquisite traditional Jewish dishes sustains Rachel's hope of seeing the community come together again at a future time. When developers make moves to acquire the synagogue and its surrounding land, Rachel's vehement opposition takes the synagogue committee and the town by surprise.
Written with warmth and humour, Book of Rachel is a captivating tale of a woman's battle to live life on her own terms. Continuing the saga of the unique Bene Israel Jews in India, it adds to Esther David's reputation as a writer of grace and power.
Esther David writes about Jewish life in India and personally illustrates her books. She is the author of the highly acclaimed The Walled City, Book of Esther, Man with Enormous Wings and Ahmedabad: City with a Past, among others. She has also written a collection of short stories, By the Sabarmati, a children's book, My Father's Zoo, and co-authored India's Jewish Heritage: Ritual, Art and Life-cycle. Her books have been translated into several languages, including French, Gujarati and Marathi. Her work is included in the library of modern Jewish literature, Syracuse University Press, New York.
Esther received the Sahitya Akademi Award for English Literature in 2010 and the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Research Award, USA, for documenting the Bene Israel Jews of Gujarat and the study of Indo-Jewish cuisine. The French translation of Book of Rachel received the Prix Eugénie Brazier. Esther belongs to the Bene Israel Jewish community of Ahmedabad.