Hebrew literature is slowly reaching out to other countries like the United States. There are an estimated 5,000 books are published annually in Israel and they are often translated into English. It reflects tensions between tradition and modern processes of secularization, between homeland and exile, hegemonic culture and the peripheries, as well as ethnicity and gender differences.
Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua works became popular within two to three years after the initial publication. It also gained good reviews from the pages of the New York Review of Books.
Below are some of the most recommended books from Hebrew literature:
A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz and translated by Nicholas de Lange
The book was first published in Hebrew back in 2002. It was translated into 28 languages and sold million copies worldwide. There was a Kurdish translation found in bookstore in Northern Iraq in 2011.
It’s an autobiographical novel of the writer who witnessed the birth of a nation and survived its raging history. The boy grows up in war-torn Jerusalem and surrounded with books in twelve languages. His life changed completely when his mother committed suicide. It’s a story that tells how the writer becomes a member of the political life of his country.
A Woman in Jerusalem by A.B. Yehoshua and translated by Hillel Halkin
A 40-something woman is a victim of a suicide bombing at a Jerusalem market. The woman works at a bakery with an employer that has “gross negligence and inhumanity toward an employee.” Apparently, the woman has no record of her employment. The baker owner felt guilty that’s why he entrusts the task of identifying and burying the victim to a human resources man. The man hesitated to take the job, but as he learned more about the woman – she was an engineer from the former Soviet Union, a non-Jew on a religious pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and, judging by an early photograph, beautiful – he felt regret, atonement, and even love.
The Pure Element of Time by by Haim Be’er and translated by Barbara Harshav
The 1998 rich and evocative autobiographical novel has keen eye and lavish writing style. The writer’s life started with an orthodox family in an old Jerusalem neighborhood in the early 1950. His beliefs came from his very religious grandmother, who is natural storyteller of parables and tales. The book also tackles his tragic family life.
A Guest for the Night by S. Y. Agnon and translated by Misha Louvish
The novel tells the the Jewish life in Eastern Europe after the World War I. A man travels from Israel to his hometown in Europe and found out that many of his friends were taken by war, pogrom, or disease. He encounters the loss of faith and trust of at his younger generation.
Dancing Arabs by Sayed Kashua and translated by Miriam Shlesinger
The novel focuses on a young boy who lives in a poor Arab village. The boy received an uncoordinated receipt of a scholarship to a Jewish boarding school, where he experienced dislocation and alienation. He even faces the impossible: he imperative to straddle two famously incompatible worlds.
The novels mentioned above will surely stir our imagination with its rich description of the life of Israelis. Find a copy and ready and tell us your reaction about it
About the blogger:
Elizabeth Terry or Eliz is a Creative Writing major who has a love for cinema. She find time to meet all her academic guidelines while attending to her researcher work for edugeeksclub.com.
[Photo credit: Pinterest and Good Reads]
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