(NEW YORK, NY, December 01, 2014) – For New York University writing professor, Marilyn Ida Horowitz, a three-hour chance encounter with a stranger on a train, a disenfranchised religious Jew searching for a community he would be comfortable living in resulted in her timely first novel, the political thriller The Book of Zev. (Köehler Books: December 1, 2014, ISBN 978-1-940192-78-9).
The story follows 32-year-old virgin Zev Bronfman, an atheist and refugee from a religious Washington DC Jewish community. Now a New York City cab driver, he falls for beautiful, God-hating, yoga-practicing kosher chef Sarah Hirshbaum. Depressed yet hopeful, Sarah vacillates between too much red wine and the purifying effects of yoga.
Not only do Zev and Sarah share the same psychic who connects them, they soon find themselves struggling against time to stop an Iranian terrorist. He’s half-Jewish and more than half-mad, believing he’s the 12th Imam and intent on blowing up the United Nations and Israel. With a push from the Mossad and others along the way, it’s up to Zev and Sarah to thwart his plans.
Horowitz, an award-winning Professor at New York University (NYU), believes that beyond the exciting plot structure, The Book of Zev is about free will – the gift that God gives us, but that we don’t understand or appreciate.
“The book’s suspense doesn’t just come from stopping a terrorist,” said Horowitz. “It’s a thriller about God, about Jews and Arabs, and the inner conflicts of the character’s belief systems. Will they do the right thing based on what they believe? I believe Edmund Burke summarized our human responsibility best: ‘the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ I hope it makes the reader think, ‘what would I do in the same circumstances?”
Horowitz grew up in a world of contradictions herself. Her half–Conservative and half-Orthodox Jewish family kept kosher, she had Bat Mitzvah. The importance of religion was discussed around the dinner table. While both sets of Horowitz’s grandparents were religious, her parents never revealed the fact that they were atheists. Even as a child, Horowitz echoed Sarah Hirschbaum in her dislike of the traditionally subordinate role women have played in Judaism.
For Horowitz, the journey of writing The Book of Zev included using her trademarked writing method, The Horowitz System®. The first draft was very close to the final work, taking far less time than the trial-and-error method most novelists use. Horowitz has successfully employed her system to help novelists and screenwriters. Two of her scriptwriting books are used as text books at New York University.
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About the Author:
Marilyn Ida Horowitz is an award winning New York University writing professor and consultant, who has taught thousands of aspiring screenwriters to complete their works using The Horowitz System®, a trademarked writing system used in book editions for college, high school and middle school. Horowitz served a full tenure as judge for the Fulbright Scholarship Program for film and media students, and received the New York University Award for Teaching Excellence in 2004. She has produced and consulted on several films, including the Warner Bros. feature, And Then Came Love (2007).
Advance Praise for The Book of Zev:
"Sometimes a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do. A sharp psychological thriller of high intellect about a woman making some hard choices for the right reasons to stop an international catastrophe."
- Omar Tyree, New York Times bestselling author of Welcome to Dubai
“Marilyn Horowitz paints a rich picture of lapsed Jews, angels, and people having miraculous abilities to survive, foretell, and sometimes alter the future. Her book plays at the borders of the normal and the supernormal, of lust and faith.
- Dennis Shasha, co-author of Iraq's Last Jews
“This provocative novel weaves together suspenseful action, torrid sex, wrenching emotion, Jewish mysticism, and the deepest fears at the heart of our times.”
- Kenneth John Atchity, Hollywood film producer and author of The Messiah Matrix
"The Book of Zev reads like Carl Hiaasen at his best, transplanted from Florida to New York with more deft plotting and far greater stakes. Wherever they are, Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake will be fighting for the first copy of this wildly entertaining, timely thriller."
- Jon Land, bestselling author of Strong Darkness
“A spellbinding story of international intrigue, suspense, love and survival. Prepare for sleepless nights.”
- Larry D. Thompson, Best-selling author of The Insanity Plea
“The Book of Zev is a devilishly delicious feast. A deeply imagined comedic thriller, it blends Kabbalah, the Bible, contemporary times, geopolitics, and life’s absurdities in Portnoyesque fashion. It’s a thriller evoking both laughter and nail-biting tension with each turn of the page. It’s pure gold from a very talented writer.”
- Mark Rubinstein, award-winning author of Mad Dog House and Love Gone Mad
“A fun book, original and full of surprises.”
- Abby Westlake, Wife of Donald Westlake
“Part wish-fulfillment romantic comedy, part edge-of-your-seat end-of-the-world action thriller: it’s as if Nora Ephron wrote The Bourne Identity, but even she probably wouldn’t have handled this mix of genres with the dexterity of Horowitz. In fact, her storytelling —twisty, sexy, smart -- is so skillful; it’s hard to believe this is her debut novel.”
- Michael Zam, former Associate Director of Programs in Humanities at NYU is also an award winning instructor, screenwriter and playwright.
"The Book of Zev is a fast paced political thriller that never loses sight of its heart; a skeptical women searching for love and a faith she can live with, all while saving the world. A truly original heroine."
- Chap Taylor, screenwriter, Changing Lanes
“THE BOOK OF ZEV is a dark comedic thriller that revolves around Zef Bronfman, an angry, virgin, atheist cab driver, Sarah Hirshbaum, a depressed, redheaded, God-hating kosher chef, and Sarah’s former lover and the current Iranian head of state, who believes he must bring on Armageddon and the Second Coming. Funny, fast-paced, and highly enjoyable.”
- DP Lyle, award-winning author of the Samantha Cody and Dub Walker thriller series
Further information can be found on:
Janet Appel Public Relations, 205 West 54 Street, New York, New York 10019
Press Contact: Janet Appel, 212-258-2413, Cell: 917-282-1785