cover image The Heart is Katmandu

The Heart is Katmandu

Yoel Hoffmann. New Directions Publishing Corporation, $22.95 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-8112-1465-0

Sensual details of everyday life are magnified and distorted in Yoel Hoffmann's uncommon romance, The Heart Is Katmandu, translated from the Hebrew by Peter Cole. Yehoahim and Batya come together in modern-day Haifa; each has an uncertain past that includes lost love. We are given a glimpse into their minds, where ordinary words and objects become totems, religion and art serve as touchstones, and meaning is as ephemeral as love itself. Less a novel than a loosely woven series of impressionistic prose poems, this will enchant and baffle discriminating readers. ( Apr. 23)