A 2017 National Jewish Book Award Winner and a USA Today bestseller.

Sponsored by Dottie and Steve Resnick

Set mostly in London of the 1660s and the early twenty-first century, the book tells the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Valasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned to view a trove of newly discovered 17th century Jewish documents and embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the scribe “Aleph.”

This is a novel about what it takes for a woman not to be defeated when everything around her is telling her to sit down and shut up. It’s a novel about a woman of heart and mind trying to speak about the world as she sees it…at a time when speaking that way (let alone speaking as a woman) could have deadly consequences. Electrifying and ambitious, The Weight of Ink is about women separated by centuries—and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.

Rachel Kadish is the author of the novels The Weight of Ink, From a Sealed Room, and Tolstoy Lied: a Love Story, as well as the novella I Was Here. Her short fiction has been read on National Public Radio and has appeared in the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Salon, and Tin House. She has been the Koret Writer-in-Residence at Stanford University and a fiction fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, and has won the National Jewish Book Award, the Association of Jewish Libraries’ Fiction Award, and the John Gardner Fiction Award. She lives outside Boston and teaches in Lesley University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing.

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