The Golum and the Jinni, by Pleasanton author Helene Wecker, was released earlier this year to rave reviews, including a feature in the New York Times.
Q: This book offers a creative take on the immigrant experience.
A: My husband and I both grew up in suburban Chicago and had very similar childhoods, and we are also both children of immigrants. He is Arab-American, and I am Jewish. I was interested in exploring how characters from very different worlds can have a similar experience immigrating into America.
Q: How did you come up with such an imaginative premise?
A: I was working on a story set in the real world, and having a hard time making it come to life. A friend in my writing workshop said, “You love fantastical books; write stories like those.” Once I made the characters supernatural, I no longer had preconceived ideas about them. They came to life in my imagination.
Q: Does your success feel magical?
A: While I’ve had an amazing experience, I’m very much the same person. My daughter’s diapers are just as dirty as they were before the book came out.
Helene Wecker will be at the Contra Costa Jewish Book and Arts Festival in Walnut Creek on November 14. helenewecker.com.