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MarginsMan

Eli Shmueli

Joshua works at a postal distribution center and lives in a housing project basement on the outskirts of West Jerusalem. A young man without means, who has never been with a woman, his world is confined to crowded city buses, grimy sidewalks and foul pubs where he seeks closeness. What drives him is his craving for love and human affection, but it only leads to one defeat after the other.

MarginsMan is about the loneliness of the outcast, the little individual, and his attempts to find companionship, particularly with women. It is also about the tyranny of desire, and of man’s vulnerability when faced with the need for tenderness. A unique blend of human subject and the city he lives in, the book is however also about Jerusalem, where Joshua follows his own Via Dolorosa. Not the Jerusalem shrouded in millennia of history and holiness, but the mundane reality of the people inhabiting it. Shmueli's Jerusalem is dusty, wretched, full of human blandness and uninspired lives whose only purpose is to get through life itself. 




PARTIAL ENGLISH TRANSLATION AVAILABLE (for publishers only). 


REVIEWS

 

The book presents a moving, mature prose ... In this book Shmueli has shaped a profound and multi-dimensional presence of a very sensitive young man, highly sensual and very spiritual, living a drab life of poverty and debasement. Out of this rises a howling question as to the circumstances and reasons that form a person’s life and the fate of the contemporary individual.   

The Pardes Scholarship Committee, 2016

 

Try not to miss this searing and powerful book. This is literature, alive and outspoken and painful … A novel in the great Hebrew thematic tradition of damaged manhood … It contains very powerful depictions of unfulfilled male desire, of the satanic world of those who enjoy and those who do not enjoy the pleasure of sex … Shmueli avoids falling into the trap that awaits “depressing” literature, the trap of marking time… He drives the plot and the hero forward with great skill, and creates a unique, galloping prose style … MarginsMan unites outspokenness with poetry – a vibrant poetry … and that illustrates how, in the hands of a talented writer, pain can become the most powerful literary raw material.    
Arik Glasner, Yedioth Ahronoth 

 

Do yourselves a favor, and don’t let MarginsMan escape you … It is a classic anti-hero story … a touching novel about the way in which one man tries to overcome life’s hardships. And it is our bestseller … Shmueli’s poetics make it unique--they cast a spell over the reader and guide him/her in a dramatic and captivating way.

Ynet

Eli Shmueli’s idiomatic world is original, and his book is strewn with metaphors that give him the stamp of a true author … This is an Orwellian novel, something of a Down and Out in Jerusalem ... Anyone who has roamed the alleyways of Jerusalem alone will identify with the hero, who describes the city’s solitude and its denizens in literary watercolors … Eli Shmueli has a keen eye for depicting human foibles, and for shaping Bukowskian characters dripping with  wretchedness. He also has a poetic voice that is different [from any other]… Reading this book … will open the sensitive reader’s heart.
Yaron Avitov, Makor Rishon 

 

Shmueli knows how to describe places and people, women in particular … The characters are well and accurately portrayed … Anyone who belongs to the race of shy males will empathize with the romantic failures of Yehoshua, the hero, and the searing hardships he endures … The mystery and the illusiveness of the women he encounters are well drawn.
Yaniv Nitzan, Haaretz


MarginsMan is a breathtaking book, because it hits those places that connect the heart to the lungs, the gut and the brain. The incidents in it are compressed and merciless.

Dafna Levy, LaIsha


A gripping and exciting book … Shmueli’s choice to deal with the space at the margins moved me, because it opens up a strange but realistic new area…The reader has to cope with the oppressive atmosphere of the beginning before he slips through it into the fascinating journey, the twists and surprises that make it such an excellent book.
Sharon Kashro, HaMandat

 

The book presents a moving, mature prose that shows expressive skill, the result of a combination of descriptions of places, voices and miniature subplots that illuminate the main narrative. In this book Shmueli has shaped a profound and multi-dimensional presence of a very sensitive young man, highly sensual and very spiritual, living a drab life of poverty and debasement. Out of this rises a howling question as to the circumstances and reasons  that form a person’s life, the fate of the contemporary individual.  

The Pardes Scholarship Committee, 2016



Title MarginsMan
Author’s Last Name Shmueli
Author's First Name Eli
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Pardes
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2015
No. Pages 286 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ishulayim
Representation Represented by ITHL
 
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