In 1938 a proposal was put to
Roosevelt that part of Alaska should be offered as a
safe haven to Jews fleeing the Nazis, but the
proposal was quashed (see sidebar). Chabon's
genre-melding alternate history-police procedural is
set in a present in which the Alaskan proposal was
resurrected in 1948 following the collapse of the
fledgling State of Israel. Sixty years later, the
Federal District of Sitka is a thriving community of
more than 2 million Jews living on the Alaskan
panhandle (map), but they're about to find
themselves homeless again, as the land was only
leased as a temporary safe haven, and when the lease
ends in two months the land will revert back to
Meyer Landsman is a weary, hard-drinking homicide detective working ...
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