on April 8, 2001
A South American Catholic, I ordered this book containing the works of Israeli Jewish women in order to look at this beautiful, contradictory and war-ridden country from a different angle. Well, I was not disappointed. "Dreaming the Actual" is like a colorful patchwork, filled with voices, images and realities that draw you into a rich and changing picture. Though the presence of the Holocaust is, understandably, strong, there are no hackneyed stories here. The tragedy is evoked mostly through the experience of survivors' children, and is thus removed from the European stage to the one their lives are unfolding in. Also, I was pleased by the deep awareness of the Palestinian plight I found in some of the works. There are some really gifted women here. Both the stories' and the poems' quality is very high. I know I will return to this book again and again.
on July 13, 2000
Dreaming the Actual is a superb collection of short stories and poetry -- I appreciated the fact that most of the material is new, and the result is that the book captures the sensibility of the scene in Israel today. I also valued the editor's decision to include work originally written in Arabic, Russian, and English, as well, of course, as Hebrew -- The stories are riveting; because of the way Glazer has organized the book,you truly get a sense of what it was like to live in Israel even before the founding of the State, all the way up to the present. The introduction is masterfully and beautifully written, and the introductions to each story and each author wonderful guides. I recommend this book highly.