Take Jewish history and mix in some ancient Greek, add a dash of groundhog day and a splash of the pythonesque, include some classic themes and some contemporary criticism and drive it all forward with a feisty, fabulous, female, feminist character and you will start get to get a sense of the rip, rollicking, ride that is The Gospel According to Wanda B Lazarus.
The new novel, a debut by South African creative and story teller Lynn Joffe, is a fantasy tale in the mythological mixology mold of Michael Chabon. It that takes place in ancient Judea during the period of the Roman occupation where a young woman called Wanda Lazarus is cursed with immortality. Through the curse she is forced to confront challenges in different times and places in Jewish history all the while dealing with some questions very familiar to modern readers.
Despite handling some difficult topics the novel is bouncy, joyful and full of energy as Wanda navigates her way through a bevy of historical and mythological characters. The recent past has found the creative community as hemmed in by the pandemic as the rest of society. The Gospel According to Wanda B Lazarus provides a welcome relief in some Jewish flight of fancy that still retains a discussion with the real world.
Lynn Joffe joined the New Blue Review to talk about the book, how it was written and what of her own experience added to Wanda’s unique voice. You can listen to interview on 101.9 Chai FM below:
To get a copy of the book go to https://www.modjajibooks.co.za/titles/the-gospel-according-to-wanda-b-lazarus/