John Benditt had a distinguished career as a science journalist. He was an editor at Scientific American and at Science before serving as editor in chief of Technology Review. The Boatmaker is his debut novel.
In The Boatmaker, a man from a small island at the periphery of an unnamed country close to Europe builds a boat and voyages to the capital of his kingdom. There are ap-parently no Jews on the island where he was born and he has no sense of his own possible Jewish history. In the capital, he encounters for the first time both deeply rooted anti-Semitism and a radical movement that mixes racial hatred and fanatical religious beliefs. When this volatile combination erupts in violence, the islander must confront the possibility of his own Jewish identity and make a fateful choice.