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Chez Babou

In this novel Lapid, a writer of strong social sensibilities, turns her attention to the foreign workers in Israel. These workers, of various nationalities, live in separate communities on the outskirts of the cities, treated with indifference and even hostility. Here a young Israeli man, nicknamed Babou, forms a relationship with a young Brazilian woman and her baby daughter. Babou, the son of a Holocaust survivor, was injured both mentally and physically during his military service – while chasing a stone-throwing Arab boy, he was burned, beaten and shot by mistake by his fellow soldiers. Subsequently he cut himself off from society, likening himself to a Buddhist monk in the Himalayas, though in reality he is surrounded by people, running a bar frequented by foreign workers. His detachment ends after he finds the wounded Brazilian girl in the back yard and takes care of her and her child. He even falls under suspicion when her husband is found stabbed to death. The story may serve as a parable about the attitude of Israeli society towards the strangers in its midst, who do its dirty work. It implies that the Jews, who suffered throughout their history in the diaspora, have no right to ignore the suffering of others.

Title Chez Babou
Writer's Last Name Lapid
Writer's First Name Shulamit
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
No. Pages 152pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Etzel Babou
  • “ Lapid's strength is in her social consciousness, in the moral stand she takes, and in the her ability to illuminate the dark corners of our lives.”

    Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “ Profound and thrilling.”