The Other Hand

From Chapter one:

The Other Hand book cover

November 17, 1989
Dear Cardinal Lustiger, Your Eminence:

My name is Daniella Stonebrook Blue. I am-or was-by profession an
astronomer. We are strangers to each other. Your name was given to me by a
woman on a bus as we were traveling across New Mexico. Because of her
insistence, I am writing to you about this dark period of my life. I need to speak
to you about the matter of light.

Light is the alphabet of God. I knew this when I was born and then I forgot.
This is the first time I have understood it as an adult woman. Even as I prepared
to write these words, I didn’t know what they implied until they appeared on
the page.

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Read the Reviews

Ariel Dorfman, Center for International Studies

"An Amazing experience, to read this novel that explores the boundaries of evil in our species and how this connects with the physical laws of the universe, the light and darkness inside and outside in its many layers."

Mark Kaminsky

"The Other Hand is Deena Metzger’s masterwork. To say that it is an epistolary novel that concurrently is a unique contribution to the literature we now speak of as Holocaust discourse is to point to its immigration across genres, reinventing an early modern form of the novel in post-modernity, to create a speculative narrative that links the scientific, the imaginative and the spiritual minds segregated under the dispensation of the Enlightenment. As a religious writer, Metzger seeks to mend the broken vessels of consciousness. As a novelist, she seeks to inquire into the intimate relation between a Jewish woman and the masculinist horror of the nazi genocide. All this is addressed to a Jewish survivor who converted to Catholicism and who is living in Paris as its CardinalL Jean-Marie Lusitger. In this space of dialogue across ever-shifting ruptures—between genders, traditions, identities, historical era, the dead and the living, deep space and the desert—distant and different universes come into contact; astronomy and cosmology intersect with theology in a story that, as novels must, brings pleasure embodied in a telling of lives, even as it offers meditation on the disaster of twentieth-century history."

Jack Kornfield

"A profound meditation or consciousness and the nature of evil, Deena Metzger’s story takes us viscerally to confront our responsibility in creating the world we know. As always, her work is brilliant, demanding, well crafted and morally important. It stretches the heart."

Peter Levitt

"Deena Metzger has written a marvelous, ornery journey of wonder and despair, longing and reconciliation, a mythic and timeless investigation into the nature of human evil and grace. This book is a shout of recognition from the separated poles of human possibility whose only longing is the most ancient one: The act of return, of unification at the root of every spiritual search. The Other Hand is Metzger’s compelling and beautifully imagined story of that struggle; it is a human heart, torn back into One."

Naomi Newman

"This is an audacious novel written by a master story teller whose compelling narrative hurtles the reader into a vortex of colliding realities with a force that leaves one breathless. Metzger is an audacious, visionary writer willing to wrestle with the most complex and troubling issues of our time. Her determination to penetrate the unseeable, to look into the ‘other side,’ encourages us to remove our own blinders, to drop our own shields.There is nothing Metzger’s character Danielle will not dare in order to See everywhere—into the galaxies, into the lowest depths, into her enemy’s and her own soul. This book is more than a compelling narrative, it joins the hand of science with the hand of spirit into a mudra of healing and forgiveness. Metzger has written a novel that is a profound examination of the nature of reality. Over and over, I stopped my reading to consider an idea; a teaching that informed my own life. I was pulled by the narrative, fascinated by the character but most of all moved by a book that is in its entirety a Kaddish: A prayer for the dead, a praise for the sacred, a devotional remembrance of the past and a hymn of gratitude for life."

Ralph Metzner, Ph.D. author of Green Psychology, Green Earth Foundation

"The knife edge of science-vs-religion cuts through the heart of Western civilization. Deena Metzger, wise seeress and poet, stands at that edge and that wound with compassion, and shows us the deeper river of life."

Professor Evelyne Accad, University of Illinois

"A captivating, overwhelming descent into the hell of the holocaust while reaching for the stars. Deena Metzger has once again taken us on an essential, painful, yet rejuvenating journey in what constitutes (w) humankind."