Olga Tokarczuk
The Books of Jacob

An exclusive collector’s edition of the magisterial novel by the Nobel Prize–winning author

  • 673 of 1000
    copies remaining in edition
  • $125.20

This edition is not available for purchase in the United States, U.S. Territories and possessions, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Estimated shipping Q2 2022

Olga Tokarczuk The Books of Jacob $125.20

Overview

In the mid-eighteenth century, as new ideas begin to sweep the continent, a young Jewish man of mysterious origins arrives in a village in Poland. Before long, he has changed not only his name but his persona; visited by what seem to be ecstatic experiences, Jacob Frank casts a charismatic spell that attracts an increasingly fervent following. In the decade to come, Frank will traverse the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires, throngs of disciples in his thrall as he reinvents himself again and again, converts to Islam and then Catholicism, is pilloried as a heretic and revered as the Messiah, and wreaks havoc on the conventional order, Jewish and Christian alike, with scandalous rumours of his sect’s secret rituals and the spread of his increasingly iconoclastic beliefs. The Books of Jacob follows the story of Frank through the perspectives of his contemporaries, capturing Enlightenment Europe on the cusp of precipitous change, searching for certainty and longing for transcendence.

Volume has partnered with Fitzcarraldo Editions to offer a collector’s edition of the new, and much anticipated, English translation of this contemporary masterpiece by International Booker Prize winner and 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature Laureate, Olga Tokarczuk. The collaboration between Fitzcarraldo Editions and Volume marks the first time the independent literary publisher has offered a hardcover edition of one of its titles (beyond its collectible paperback range) and signals Volume’s expanded reach to modern bibliophiles.

Author

Olga Tokarczuk

Translator

Jennifer Croft

Genre

Fiction

Specification

275 x 175 mm
920 pages
Numbered and signed by the author
Clothbound clamshell box
Book-block with exposed binding
Ultra-lightweight paper stock

The Book

Enlarged from the paperback version available in bookstores, Volume’s elegant boxed edition is covered in real cloth specially dyed in the coveted Fitzcarraldo colourway – Yves Klein blue – and adorned with its trademark logo, inspired by the imprints of early printing presses. An exposed binding celebrates the grand scale and literary gravitas of this epic publication from one of the world’s most gifted novelists.

The Books of Jacob was first published in Polish in 2014. In collaboration with Fitzcarraldo Editions, this collector’s edition of the long-awaited English-language edition, translated from the Polish by International Booker Prize–winning translator Jennifer Croft and signed by the author, is limited to only 1000 copies. Tokarczuk’s ninth novel runs to over 900 pages and is described by many as her magnum opus.

This edition is not available for purchase in the United States, U.S. Territories and possessions, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

Olga Tokarczuk constructs her novels in a tension between cultural opposites: nature versus culture, reason versus madness, male versus female, home versus alienation. Her magnum opus so far is the historical novel The Books of Jacob […] a remarkably rich panorama of an almost neglected chapter in European history.

The Nobel Prize

Tokarczuk is wrestling with the biggest philosophical themes: the purpose of life on earth, the nature of religion, the possibility of redemption, the fraught and terrible history of eastern European Jewry…. The vividness with which it’s done is amazing. At a micro-level, she sees things with a poetic freshness. … The Books of Jacob, which is so demanding and yet has so much to say about the issues that rack our times, will be a landmark in the life of any reader with the appetite to tackle it.

Marcel Theroux, The Guardian

The Books of Jacob features an open binding, exposing the page signatures and stitching of the book-block. This is housed in a handmade case, covered in a specially dyed ‘Fitzcarraldo blue’ cloth.

In Tokarczuk’s telling this epic of myth and history is a celebration of cultural diversity, a plea for tolerance and – notwithstanding its impeccably researched historical setting – a contemporary story of borders, refugees and migration. Despite the novel’s great length, the world she has recreated is wrenching to leave…. As a reading experience, aspects of Tolstoy’s War and Peace are an obvious comparison; but so too is The Blue Flower, Penelope Fitzgerald’s epic in miniature of German Romanticism, and Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy: all immersive works in which the act of turning the pages is akin to surrender.

Catherine Taylor, The Spectator

Olga Tokarczuk is the author of nine novels, three short-story collections and has been translated into forty-five languages. Her novel Flights won the 2018 International Booker Prize, in Jennifer Croft’s translation. In 2019, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Books of Jacob is her third book with Fitzcarraldo Editions.

Jennifer Croft was awarded the International Booker Prize in 2018 and was a National Book Award Finalist for her translation from Polish of Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. She is the recipient of Fulbright, PEN, MacDowell, and National Endowment for the Arts grants and fellowships, as well as the inaugural Michael Henry Heim Prize for Translation and a Tin House Workshop Scholarship for her memoir Homesick.