At the center of The Lawgiver is Margo Solovei, a brilliant young writer-director who has rejected her rabbinical father’s strict Jewish upbringing to pursue a career in the arts. When an Australian multibillionaire promises to finance a movie about Moses if the script meets certain standards, Margo does everything she can to land the job, including a reunion with her estranged first love, an influential lawyer with whom she still has unfinished business.
Two other key characters in the novel are Herman Wouk himself and his wife of more than sixty years, Betty Sarah, who, almost against their will, find themselves entangled in the Moses movie when the Australian billionaire insists on Wouk’s stamp of approval.
As Wouk and his characters contend with Moses and marriage, and the force of tradition, rebellion, and reunion, The Lawgiver reflects the wisdom of a lifetime. Inspired by the great nineteenth-century novelists, one of America’s most beloved twentieth-century authors has now written a remarkable twenty-first-century work of fiction.
Herman Wouk & Dr. Billington on Writing Love Stories and Female Characters
Read an Excerpt
(INTEROFFICE MEMO, 11:20 A.M.)
BSW LITERARY AGENCY
Sorry to trouble you. That Andrea with the British accent just rang yet again. She already rang at 9 this morning on the dot. She said Mr. Warshaw would make it worth my while if I would put him through to Mr. Wouk on the phone even for a minute or two, “by mistake.” (A gross offer of a bribe?) She still won’t say what it’s... see more
Hear an Excerpt
Reading Group Guide
Young Margo Solovei is brilliant and talented, but a relatively unknown writer-director in Hollywood. She is also a secular iconoclast, despite having internalized the lessons of her rabbi father during her strict Jewish upbringing in Passaic, New Jersey. When Louis Gluck, an eccentric Australian multi-billionaire, promises to finance a movie about Moses if the script meets exacting standards, Margo surprises herself and the rest of the movie industry by landing the job. In order to move forward with the ambitious project, Margo must convince a legendary author and his guarded literary agent that her screenplay truly captures the spirit of Moses. In The Lawgiver, Herman Wouk has created a work of divine metafiction—incorporating both himself and his real-life wife/agent, Betty Sarah Wouk, into the thick of the plot. When Margo resumes a relationship with her estranged first love, Joshua Lewin, an influential lawyer with whom she still has unfinished business, she finds herself propelled into an epic story even she c see more