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book cover of Yiddish for Pirates

Yiddish for Pirates

(2016)
A novel by

 
 
Short-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and nominated for the Governor-General's Award for Literature, a hilarious, swashbuckling, yet powerful tale of pirates, buried treasure, and a search for the Fountain of Youth, told in the ribald, philosophical voice of a 500-year-old Jewish parrot.

Set in the years around 1492, Yiddish for Pirates recounts the compelling story of Moishe, a Bar Mitzvah boy who leaves home to join a ship's crew, where he meets Aaron, the polyglot parrot, who becomes his near-constant companion.

From a present-day Florida nursing home, this wisecracking yet poetic bird guides us through a world of pirate ships, Yiddish jokes, and treasure maps. But Inquisition Spain is a dangerous time to be Jewish, and Moishe joins a band of hidden Jews trying to preserve some forbidden books. He falls in love with a young woman, Sarah; though they are separated by circumstance, Moishe's wanderings are motivated as much by their connection as by his quest for loot and freedom. When all Jews are expelled from Spain, Moishe travels to the Caribbean with the ambitious Christopher Columbus, a self-made man who loves his creator. Moishe eventually becomes a pirate and seeks revenge on the Spanish while seeking the ultimate booty: the Fountain of Youth.

This outstanding New Face of Fiction is filled with Jewish takes on classic pirate tales - fights, prison escapes, and exploits on the high seas - but it's also a tender love story between Moishe and Sarah and between Aaron and his "shoulder", Moishe. Rich with puns, colourful language, postcolonial satire, and Kabbalistic hijinks, Yiddish for Pirates is also a compelling examination of mortality, memory, identity, and persecution from one of this country's most talented writers.

    

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Used availability for Gary Barwin's Yiddish for Pirates

Hardback Editions

April 2016 : USA Hardback
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Title: Yiddish for Pirates
Author(s): Gary Barwin
ISBN: 0-345-81551-3 / 978-0-345-81551-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Canada
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

October 2016 : USA Paperback
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Title: Yiddish for Pirates
Author(s): Gary Barwin
ISBN: 0-345-81552-1 / 978-0-345-81552-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

September 2017 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Yiddish for Pirates
Author(s): Gary Barwin
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Availability: Amazon   


September 2017 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Yiddish for Pirates
Author(s): Gary Barwin
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Availability: Amazon CA   


August 2017 : Audio CD
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Title: Yiddish for Pirates
Author(s): Gary Barwin
ISBN: 1-5436-4148-2 / 978-1-5436-4148-6
Publisher: Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


June 2017 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Yiddish for Pirates
Author(s): Gary Barwin
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


June 2017 : UK Audio edition
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Title: Yiddish for Pirates
Author(s): Gary Barwin
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

April 2016 : Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Yiddish for Pirates
Author(s): Gary Barwin
Publisher: Random House Canada
Availability: Amazon CA