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Evil Inclination, by Daniel Victor

North Street Book Prize winner

Winner of the prestigious $10,000 North Street Book Prize! From the judges: “Daniel Victor’s The Evil Inclination is a sensitive, tragic love story between a modern-day Romeo and Juliet who transgress religious boundaries. It’s a brilliant novel that works on many levels—theological, personal, cultural—with high stakes and sharply observed humorous moments that make the characters achingly real.”


“An exhilarating, spellbinding tale … that will surprise, astonish and move you deeply.”
— Joseph Telushkin, best-selling author of Words That Hurt, Words That Heal.

“A captivating love story pitting passion against faith … an irresistible read…”
— Judith Shulevitz, best-selling author of /The Sabbath World./

“A riveting — and surprising — book about family, faith, lust, heresy, temptation, wisdom and God.”
— Ari Goldman, Professor and author of the best-selling The Search for God at Harvard.


Lev Livitski, devoted son and upright young man, walks the path of Jewish observance without giving it a second thought. But one day in college, Lev encounters Angela Pizatto, a dark-haired knockout, and suddenly, what used to mean everything to him is no longer enough.

Angela pulls Lev from a prudish existence into a passionate romance that must remain a secret because she is Catholic and he is Jewish. As the young lovers gallivant throughout Brooklyn, and as their devotion to each other builds, they realize that they are headed toward a pivotal crossroad. Can they possibly overcome the seemingly insurmountable differences in their backgrounds? It is a question they must confront if they are ever to have a shared future.

Layered into this love story are themes about identity and longing: how desire—what traditional Judaism calls the “evil inclination”—can define who we think we are. It’s a novel not only about the burdens of tradition clashing with the power of passion, but also about the struggle to understand how the people we fall for can change us in profound and unexpected ways.

Atmosphere Press

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