Israel: A Traveler's Literary Companion

Michael Gluzman, Editor, Naomi Seidman, Editor, Robert Alter, Foreword by
Michael Gluzman, Editor, Naomi Seidman, Editor, Robert Alter, Foreword by Whereabouts Press $14.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-883513-03-0
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Through fiction and a smidgen of fact, Gluzman, a professor of poetry and comparative literature at Tel Aviv University, and Seidman, who teaches Hebrew literature at the Center for Jewish Studies, Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., purport to present works that ""will enlighten a traveler to the soul of"" Israel. The latest in a series for readers planning trips (two more are also due out in 1997), this collection includes, but is not limited to, pieces about villagers burning a neighbor's house; a soldier kicking an Arab in the face before the other can shoot him; and a religious Jew molesting a secular Jew. The stories themselves are strong, eloquent and penned by the very best Israeli writers (among them David Grossman, Shulamith Hareven, A.B. Yehoshua). But the only one not guaranteed to sadden is an exquisite piece by Ofra Rizenfeld on the innocent Adam and Eve romping in the Garden of Eden. And we all know what happens to them. ""Where does it get you, this state you made?"" a religious Jew asks Amos Oz in one of two pieces or reportage. ""Murderers, prostitutes, robbers, perverts, blasphemers, emptiness and impudence."" Kind of makes you want to stay home. (Oct.)
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