From Publishers Weekly
This strange and searing novel (after Human Parts) follows the exploits of Doctor Dolly as she traverses a nightmarish Tel Aviv–like metropolis known as Dolly City. Her University of Katmandu medical training not recognized in Israel, Dolly is unable to legally practice medicine and instead experiments in her home lab on animals she infects with diseases of her own invention. But when Dolly finds an abandoned baby wrapped in a plastic bag, her maternal urges are unexpectedly awakened, and as she grows more and more obsessed with her son--whom she names Son--she succumbs to a madness manifesting itself as fanatical concern with Son's health and the conviction that cancer is everywhere. Dolly's agitated mind increasingly parallels the deterioration of Dolly City, "the most demented city in the world," besieged by "Arabophobia" from within and French air raids from without. This parable about motherhood, nationhood, and the intersection of the two is never less than gripping, though its insistence on the graphic depiction of life in a war zone--whether private or public--sometimes makes it tempting to look away.
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“From the first pages, Dolly City
asserts itself as an important text . . . Kafka has finally arrived in Tel Aviv.” (Le Monde)
“Castel-Bloom is one of Israel’s most original and outrageous writers. She pushes her themes to the limits, often to the cutting edge of madness. Her masterpiece, the novel Dolly City
, takes on the theme of motherhood with the blackest of humor . . . With energy and a sense of play, Castel-Bloom reveals the nihilism, violence and sadism seething within us all.” (Jerusalem Report)
is an irreverent and witty satire, an original and timely tour de force about the Yiddishe-mama complex. Drifting and alienated in a hostile city, Mother Dolly (Israel) doctors her adopted son with a love that destroys, until she learns the meaning of compassion.” (Times Literary Supplement)