cover image A Lover in Palestine

A Lover in Palestine

Selim Nassib, , trans. from the French by Alison Anderson. . Europa Editions, $14.95 (164pp) ISBN 978-1-933372-23-5

A subtle meditation on sex and politics in pre-statehood Israel, this slim novel expands on the legend that a young Golda Meir had an affair with Albert Pharaon, the heir to a Palestinian fortune. Albert is sophisticated and elegant, but his social circle's mercenary hypocrisy drives him to leave his family in Beirut for a solitary life in Haifa. Golda Myerson, meanwhile, is a young Russian Jewish woman who arrives in Israel by way of Milwaukee and throws herself into kibbutz life and Zionist politics. When the two meet at a party given by the British High Commissioner, a spiritual and physical attraction is awakened that exists outside the realm of politics and idealism. At times subtle and sexy, at times too political, Nassib's novel provides an easily digestible (if sometimes purple) thumbnail sketch of the milieu of 1920s Palestine. (Feb.)