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Dearest Anne: A Tale of Impossible Love (Jewish Women Writers) Paperback – May 1, 2008
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"[An] impassioned and intense coming-of-age. . . . Katzir's prose is evocative, at times furiously erotic, as Rivi archives her progression from insecure teenager into a self-assured woman."
"The power of unconditional love fuels Rivi's development into a confident young woman, a development Katzir telescopes nicely in the book's finale."
"More than anything else, the book is a temple of love to the imaginary, and to literature as an option for deep and vigorous living. . . . The story succeeds in arousing interest and emotion. . . . The greatness of the novel is understood only in retrospect, after reading it and tying all the threads, events and vantage points together into one complete picture."
Time Out Israel
"There is something addictive about Judith Katzir’s writing: the ability to pour beauty and meaning into a fleeting moment, to catch it in the tangle of time and shape and polish it all in metaphoric language that is amazingly sensuous and precise."
"Judith Katzira true writerhas produced a novel dealing with sensitive and difficult human material. With a skilled hand she transforms it into a sensual work full of love and sensitivity that touches the inner heart."
"In Dearest Anne the author manages to get inside a fourteen-year-old girl without judging her, teaching her or setting herself above her. Nature and human nature together celebrate a new beginning. This is Judith Katzir’s best book."
"A thoughtful, mature and even heartbreaking book. . . . Ultimately, Katzir succeeds in making us mourn the passing of time in our own lives, by infusing each of her characters with the sort of wisdom that can only be gained through years of regret, a wisdom so real and palpable that it feels like we earned it through our own trials."
"Katzir portrays a passionate relationship between an adolescent girl and her married female literature teacher. . . . Readers might balk at the high volume of explicit sex appearing throughout the book. Beyond that potential hurdle are multiple literary allusions, lessons about choices, and a distinctive coming-of-age story."
"Judith Katzir['s] . . . Prose, so rich in detail and evocative images, manages to tether her unique characters to an entire country, bringing both vividly to life. . . . Katzir uses her exacting eye and an innovative form to bring this . . . unpredictable story to the page."
Jennifer Gilmore, author of Golden Country
Top Customer Reviews
It's also rich in literary allusions (curiously, one scene refers to Goethe's poem, "The Erlking" which also looms large in my own book The Nazi Hunter: A Novel
On the other hand, there's something very nasty and vile at the center of the book that the author only half-acknowledges -- an affair between a 14-year-old girl and her 28-year-old English teacher.
The fact that this is a lesbian affair didn't bother me. The fact that such blatant child-abuse is presented as something beautiful and precious did.
The book is cast in the form of a diary written by 14-year-old Rivi Shenhav. Inspired by Anne Frank who wrote her diary to an imaginary friend she called "Kitty", Rivi writes her diary to Anne and signs her entries Kitty. Some suggested this device is disrespectful to the Holocaust and the memory of its victims. I don't agree. It's an effective framing device and makes the point that in many ways Rivi gets to live the life Anne was denied by the Nazis. Rivi and Anne share many characteristics, not least a literary talent and poetic sensibility. I can definitely imagine a young Israeli girl identifying with Anne. It may be that Katzir is arguing for a more nuanced way for Israelis to grapple with the Holocaust and memory. Two scenes regarding the way Holocaust Memorial Day is observed in her school in Haifa make that point in interesting ways.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book, very interesting! I loved how the love affair blossomed between the two and stayed strong through the years.Published 23 months ago by cocoacookie
I had bought the book used but it was in perfect condition. There were some interesting aspects of Israeli history. Read morePublished on February 11, 2010 by Donna Blanc