Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. The “Beilis trial” of 1913 caused an international uproar and Olive kitteridge novel pdf backed down in the face of world indignation. The novel is about Yakov Bok, a Jewish handyman or “fixer”. Jailed without being officially charged and denied visitors or legal counsel, Bok is treated poorly and interrogated repeatedly in the hopes he will confess to killing the boy as part of a Jewish religious ritual.
Among other things, he is asked about his political views, and replies that he is apolitical. Bok also tries to explain to his captors that though he was born Jewish, he is not a religious man. During his many months in prison, he has time to contemplate his sad life and human nature in general. After his father-in-law bribes a guard to allow him to speak with Bok, the prison guard is arrested and incarcerated. Bok’s main advocate and supporter, Investigating Magistrate Bibikov, is arrested on trumped-up charges after visiting Bok in prison. Bibikov is kept in solitary confinement until he eventually commits suicide. The only person permitted to visit Bok is his wife, who left him just before the novel began.
Bok refuses to sign the statement because he did not commit the crime. It is during his wife’s visit that he learns of his father-in-law’s death and of his wife’s child from her ex-lover. It is through his suffering Bok finally finds it in his heart to forgive his former wife and agrees to claim her bastard child as his own in order to help her regain respectability within the Jewish community. In the last chapter of the novel, after spending over two years in prison, Bok is finally charged with an official crime and brought to trial. Only once he is charged is Bok finally permitted to obtain and speak with a lawyer. Bok had not been arrested for the murder, another Jew would have been. In the final scene of the novel, while on his way to court Bok has an imaginary dialogue with Tsar Nicholas II, blaming the Tsar for ruling over the most backward and regressive regime in Europe.
It is during this final sequence of events that Bok’s transport is attacked and at least one Cossack guard is maimed. Bok famously concludes “there is no such thing as an apolitical man, especially a Jew. A 2011 edition of Beilis’s memoir, co-edited by one of his grandsons, claims to identify 35 instances of plagiarism by Malamud. Responding to the allegations of plagiarism made by Beilis’s descendants, Malamud’s biographer Philip Davis acknowledged “some close verbal parallels” between Beilis’s memoir and Malamud’s novel. Island Trees School District v.