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The Banquet of Esther Rosenbaum [Dec]
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The Banquet of Esther Rosenbaum [Dec]

By Penny Simpson
Published by Alcemi
ISBN 9780955527234
Category Literary/History/Magic Realism
December 2009


Berlin, 1929 is edging towards disaster, but seven foot orphan Esther is serving up a banquet for her bohemian friends. Using a burlesque brand of magic realism, Penny Simpson conjures fantastical elements to show how cookery can be an act of storytelling, and imagination an act of subversion and survival.  “A born story-teller...richly imagined... written with a zest reminiscent of the best magic realism, but with a flavour all of her own.” Nicholas Murray, cover endorsement

Author's Biography

Penny Simpson is Head of Media at Welsh National Opera. Trained as a journalist, she was Barclays/TMA Theatre Critic of the Year in 1991. An author of short stories which have appeared in anthologies from Bloomsbury, Virago and the Dalkey Archive Press, she is a recent Hawthornden Fellow.


“[An] extravaganza of the real and the imagined... sumptuous... [marked by its] humour, verve and hallucinatory strangeness.” Clare Morgan, Times Literary Supplement

“A feast of language... served on a platter embellished with similes and metaphors so strong that their aromas permeate the text with every page.” Jewish Book World

“... an intriguing first novel.” Marta Segal Block, www.booklistonline

“Moving and inspiring... very much recommended reading.” Library Bookwatch, The Midwest Book Review

“Casts an intoxicating spell, blending tragedy, satire and magic realism to create a sensuous exploration of food, revolution and the resurrection of community through memory.” New Welsh Review

“Compelling... superb talent for storytelling” - Wales Literature Exchange

“...real and imaginary characters are equally magical, as are the incredible creations of this latter day celebrity chef.” Karl Dallas, Morning Star



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