Jonathan Levi is an American writer and producer, and author of A Guide for the Perplexed. His short stories and articles have also appeared in many magazines including Granta, Condé Nast Traveler, GQ, Terra Nova, the Nation and the New York Times. Septimania: A Novel (Knopf) is a story at once personal and mythic, with themes as large as the universe and as small as an appleseed. On a spring afternoon in 1978 in the loft of a church outside Cambridge, England, an organ tuner named Malory loses his virginity to a dyslexic math genius named Louiza. When Louiza disappears, Malory follows her trail to Rome. There, the quest to find his love gets sidetracked when he discovers he is the heir to the Kingdom of Septimania, given by Charlemagne to the Jews of eighth-century France. In the midst of a Rome reeling from the kidnappings and bombs of the Red Brigades, Malory is crowned King of the Jews, Holy Roman Emperor and possibly Caliph of All Islam. His quest for Louiza continues over the next fifty years. Malory’s is the quest of a Candide for love and knowledge, and the ultimate discovery that we may be unified after all.