Susannah Rabin, thirty-something years old and suffering from uncontrollable crying fits, may not make readers cry, but her ability to wink at the world may well make them laugh, thanks to her wonderful self-irony and sharp, liberated tongue. In her second book, Kimchi continues to skillfully draw her depressed, unstable characters.
Susannah is incapable of normal relations with other people, particularly men, because she views every stranger as a potential invader and voyeur of her body and life. She hates her body and is disgusted by all natural bodily functions, yet she is well aware of her complexes and defines herself as a mermaid with a fish tail instead of genitals. Susannah can only function under the supervision of her mother, who faces life's daily trials and tribulations in her stead while usurping her independence and preventing her from experiencing life.
Everything changes when Naor, a handsome and charming relative from the United States, arrives and Susannah's mother offers him a room in her home. The guest's effect on Susannah is profound. She falls in love with him, and through him is liberated from all of her physical and sexual complexes. Naor is later exposed as a crook and obsessive gambler, but he heals Susannah's soul, and he is her redeemer and miracle worker. He turns her into a woman no longer afraid of her sexuality, and as his inevitable departure approaches, he tries to give her a more substantial gift: faith in her ability to become a painter, an independent woman who creates her own world and does not depend on others.
Between tears and smiles, the author keeps us captivated by intertwining history with everyday life, the best of traditional Jewish humor and the great concerns of modernity.
Giornale Di Brescia
There are books which, like good food, you want everyone to taste. This is most certainly one of them… Kimhi gives us a wonderful read with magnificent prose that haunts the reader long after he finished this book.
Literature in the Russian tradition – quirky and soul-examining, with that heightened sense of the mystery of everyday life.
Weeping Susannah draws us in through its simplicity. Often difficult subjects are described with fine humor that is also insightful.
|Title|| ||Weeping Susannah|
|Author’s Last Name|| ||Kimhi|
|Author’s First Name|| ||Alona|
|Language(s)|| ||English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Chinese, Czech, Finnish, Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish|
|Publisher (Hebrew)|| ||Keter|
|Year of Publication (Hebrew)|| ||1999|
|No. Pages|| ||341 pp.|
|Book title - Hebrew (phonetic)|| ||Susannah Ha-Bochiya|
|Representation|| ||Represented by ITHL|
Dutch: Amsterdam, Meulenhoff, 2001
French: Paris, Gallimard, 2001; pback: Gallimard/Folio, 2003
English: London, Harvill, 2001; New York, Harvill/Farrar Straus, 2002
Italian: Milan, Rizzoli, 2001; Ugo Guanda, 2010
Swedish: Stockholm, Wahlstrom/Widstrand, 2001
Portuguese: Lisbon, Asa, 2002
Greek: Athens, Psichogios, 2002
German: Munich, Carl Hanser, 2002; pback: Berlin, Berlin Verlag, 2004
Finnish: Helsinki, Tammi, 2003
Spanish: Barcelona, Galaxia Gutenberg, 2004
Polish: Warsaw, WAB, 2006
Chinese: Hefei, Anhui Literature & Art Pubs, 2008
Turkish: Istanbul, Sistem, 2009
Czech: Prague, Garamond, forthcoming