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A Heart Poured Out

The novella A Heart Poured Out, draws two seemingly diametrically opposite characters together. The two men represent two poles of Israeli society. Amos Gefen is a long-established well-known writer of Ashkenazi origin, a married man whose wife has gone to New York to finish writing a book; Sami Sasson is a house-painter of Eastern origin, separated from his wife of twenty years. Sami has been hired by Amos and his wife to paint their apartment and give it a new look. Amos hopes that the newly decorated apartment will revive his relationship with his wife. He soon discovers that Sami is a special breed of decorator: he loves talking and turns out to be a talented racconteur of folk-tales who spices his speech with rich folk sayings and humor. Sami tells the writer the story of his life in the hope that he will record it in writing. Surprisingly enough, Amos does not relate to the talkative painter as a bore who is disturbing him at his work; on the contrary: he is fascinated by his story and his personality. Sami, the man with the poured-out heart, tells introspective, inhibited Amos how his father sent him to work in the market at the age of six and how he became a hotel waiter thanks to his cousin, Zaki. But Zaki, who had done him such a favor, also caused him badly. Sami`s beloved wife, Habiba, was unfaithful to him with Zaki. When Sami found out, he threw Habiba out of the house, quit his job at the hotel and became a house-painter. By so doing, he forfeited the sympathy of his children. When Sami completes the painting job, Amos begins to ponder Sami`s love for Habiba. He is seized by fierce longing for his own wife and realizes how much he misses her.

The short story Blind Reading also deals with love – the love of a mother, who is going blind, for her writer son, and here too the emotion-filled heart prevails over the written words.

Title A Heart Poured Out
Writer's Last Name Bartov
Writer's First Name Hanoch
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Zmora-Bitan
No. Pages 141pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Lev Shafuch