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Critical Praise

"[A] thoughtful, resonant examination of Jewish life in the aftermath of the Holocaust…Stollman illuminates the mysteries of life with the clear eye of a scientist and the faith of a believer."

——Publishers Weekly



"The Illuminated Soul itself is dreamlike, taking place in a region of wonder that goes by the name of Windsor, Ont., but is really a transcendent place, touched by tragedy and foreboding, by clouds and flowers and prophecies and things unfathomable to the five senses."

——The Buffalo News

"Utterly graceful…Stollman is a writer of rare skill, every line molded and sculpted to perfection, and life in a small Canadian Jewish community is well rendered. The sense of loss pervading these Holocaust-stricken pages is almost overwhelming."

——Kirkus Reviews

"Stollman possesses a lucid writing style that reflects his knowledge of original Hebrew texts as well as other, more esoteric sources…The Illuminated Soul is a profound novel…but it is also a sturdy narrative that supports a strong and varied cast of characters while…staking out that elusive stretch of middle ground between faith and science."

——The Boston Globe

"A simple, emotionally powerful fable."


"A beautiful work of art."

——The Seattle Times

"Stollman is outrageously talented…Alongside Allegra Goodman, Nathan Englander, Melvin Bukiet, and others, Stollman represents a younger generation of authors who not only embrace their Jewish heritage but interpret the world through its unique lenses."

——New York Newsday

"A beautiful book about the endurance of the past, the fragility of the present, and the healing power of quiet love."

——Bernhard Schlink, author of The Reader

"The Illuminated Soul is…about the pull of the past over the present and the profound effects that one person can have on another…it succeeds beautifully. Stollman's simple but elegiac prose, his deft characterizations and his knowledge of Jewish lore and history make The Illuminated Soul a novel with a big heart and, yes, soul."

——San Francisco Chronicle