Drawing In the Dust

By Zoe Klein
(Gallery Books, Paperback, 9781416599135, 384pp.)

Publication Date: May 4, 2010

Other Editions of This Title: , , , Hardcover

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2009 Indie Notables
“Lyrical and moving, fast-paced and fascinating, Drawing in the Dust tells the story of a love that transcends time and cultural barriers. Set in Israel, the story has echoes of the bomb-riddled world we see on the nightly news, but it also renders a world rich with the juxtaposition of history and modernity.”
-- Annie Leonard, The Next Chapter, Knoxville, IA



Brilliant archaeologist Page Brookstone has toiled at Israel’s storied battlegrounds of Megiddo for twelve years, yet none of the ancient remnants she has unearthed deliver the life-altering message she craves. Which is why she risks her professional reputation when a young Arab couple begs her to excavate beneath their home. Ibrahim and Naima Barakat claim the spirits of two lovers overwhelm everyone who enters with love and desire. As Page digs, she makes a miraculous discovery—the bones of the deeply troubled prophet Jeremiah locked in an eternal embrace with a mysterious woman. Buried with the entwined skeletons is a collection of scrolls that challenge centuries-old interpretations of the prophet’s story and create a worldwide fervor.

Caught in a forbidden romance of her own, and under siege from religious zealots and relentless critics, Page endangers her life to share the lovers’ story with the world. But in doing so, she discovers she must let go of her own painful past. Called a “zesty debut” by Kirkus Reviews, Zoë Klein’s historically rich novel is a lyrical and unexpected journey as poignant and thought-provoking as the beloved bestsellers The Red Tent and People of the Book.

About the Author

ZOË KLEIN pursued the rabbinate out of a passion for ancient texts, mythology, liturgy and poetry. Zoë Klein has written for Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, and Tikkun. She has written chapters in a number of collections including The Women’s Torah Commentary and Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation. Her poetry and prayers are used in houses of worship around the country and has appeared as a commentator on the History Channel in “Digging for the Truth.” She lives with her family, where she is the senior rabbi of a large congregation.

Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com


  1. The Barakats believe the ground beneath their house is haunted and claim to have seen spirits in their home. How does their faith contribute to this belief? Do you think that Page begins believing in ghosts and the paranormal as the book progresses? Who are the skeptics and who are the cynics of the novel?

Praise For Drawing In the Dust

"Lyrical, transformative, and unexpected, Drawing will keep you enthralled in the moment, yet racing to know more." -- Gina B. Nahai, NYT bestselling author of Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith

"Archaeology is the most dangerous of sciences, fundamentalism the most insidious of religious beliefs, and fiction the most seductive form of writing. Mix all three together, and you have Drawing in the Dust.... Zoe Klein will rock your foundations! This is what fiction should be about." -- Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, NYT bestselling authors of The Betrayal

"A magically inventive archaeological expedition into love's psyche. Rabbi Klein's voice is enormously literate, politically sophisticated, spiritually captivating, and above all, unique." -- Lawrence Kushner, author of Kabbalah : A Love Story

"Drawing in the Dust is original in every sense of the word: creative, innovative, novel. It is an archaeological adventure that resurrects buried romance. With feeling intellect, the author reveals the secret of the heart." -- Rabbi Harold Schulweis, Author of Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey

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