cover image Homesick


Eshkol Nevo, , trans. from the Hebrew by Sondra Silverston. . Dalkey Archive, $15.95 (374pp) ISBN 978-1-56478-582-4

In his second book in English translation, popular Israeli novelist Nevo pays tribute to the dynamism of his country, honing in on a handful of neighbors in the town of Mevasseret, just outside Jerusalem, whose Arab inhabitants were displaced in 1948. The novel is narrated from multiple perspectives; each intense personality describes the struggle to embrace the tension of everyday life in Israel and come to terms with “the law of the preservation of sadness.” Noa and Amir are a young couple—he a psychology student and she a photography student—adjusting to life together under the same roof; landlords Moshe and Sima in the apartment next door clash over the appropriate religious upbringing of their children. Across the lot a family mourns the loss of a son to the war in Lebanon, and nearby, the Arab Madmonis family faces prejudice on a daily basis. While death and social isolation hover over many scenes, Nevo masterfully explores the dualities of life in Israel, and delicately draws out the hope and love submerged in the hearts of its citizens. (Apr.)