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"Throughout my life I have written about Israeli traumas and have seen how new lives are built upon ruins," writes Israeli journalist Sarna, though these spare, wistful portraits focus more on loss and quiet despair than on rebuilding. In one essay, a Russian immigrant homesick for his native Leningrad gets into an auto accident. Bleeding and wild-eyed, he runs off into the desert and isn't heard from again. In another piece, a former Israeli paratrooper who grew up in an orphanage learns that his mother is alive and living with a Palestinian husband in Jordan-and confronts her in an astonishing encounter. Another man, who fled the Holocaust as child, explains that the worst terror he ever endured was actually in Israel-where he spent 20 years in a psychiatric hospital. For the most part, Sarna avoids imposing larger meanings or pat interpretations. When he does look for epiphanies, as in the title essay about an artist's recovery from depression, the pieces feel a bit strained and sentimental. Though the Palestinian conflict comes up in a few of the essays, it's usually the older tragedies of Jewish history that weigh heavily on the subjects: in one of the most moving, Sarna traces the downward spiral of a childhood acquaintance, a son of Holocaust survivors, who dies alone and virtually penniless in the United States. Together, these deftly written, often piercing stories form a complicated, sometimes contradictory tableau of Israeli life.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Sarna, an Israeli journalist, offers portraits of 14 Israeli men and women whose lives are permeated by fear and anger in a land without peace. Profiles include a paratrooper who ran away from an orphanage when he was eight and as an adult meets the mother he barely remembers living among Arabs; a teacher awarded his Ph.D. from the University of Berlin 50 years after he earned it; a Jewish man born in Syria and confined to a psychiatric hospital for 31 years before a relative took him to France; and a woman who jumped from a rocky ledge to her death, leaving behind a book entitled "The Price of Honor" and a letter addressed to her husband--a letter that he does not comprehend. Originally published in Israel in Hebrew, the book is an exceptional and potent work. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If Israel were peopled only by the types in this book, it wouldn't have survived at all - suicides, victims of murder and madness, young men dying in war. Read morePublished on January 21, 2005 by Reader in NC
I couldn't finish the book! The book is all about soldiers in the military in Israel and other war-related stuff! Not much about civil life!!! Read morePublished on May 31, 2003 by M. ravasizadeh
I couldn't finish the book! The book is all about soldiers in the military in Israel and other war-related stuff! Not much about civil life!!! Read morePublished on May 31, 2003 by Ali R Niakosari