Published in 2012, The Tale Teller is a novel written by Susan Glickman, a Canadian author and professor. She has written many works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as three books for younger readers. A few of her other books also deal with the prejudice against Jews, raising awareness about the discrimination that Jews faced not only in the past but also in the modern world.
In The Tale Teller, the protagonist’s name is Esther Brandeau, but she disguises herself at first as Jacques Lafargue. Esther is a female Jew, which during the early 1700s, made it illegal for her to enter New France, which is modern day Canada. So, she disguised herself as a French man, sailing across the ocean on the Saint Michel. However, before she can leave and start her new life in New France, Jacques is stopped by port officials at Quebec. Here, Jacques reveals that she is actually a woman. Though she is questioned about who she is and where she is from, Esther gives the interrogators fascinating stories of castaways and apes living together, sailors and pirates each falling in love, desert nomads and slaves, and many other stories in a beautifully real world. As she tells her stories, she explores the themes of identity, imagination, empathy, and appearance versus reality.