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Golem in the Circle

This novel, an outstanding example of “second generation” Holocaust survivors’ Israeli literature, revolves around a complex mother-daughter relationship. The daughter, Micki Stav, age 26, narrates the story. Her mother raised her as an Israeli princess from a good Polish-Jewish home. Her parents always expect her to excel, and to win every competition. The mother, a Holocaust survivor whose personality has been shaped by the terrible experiences of her past, cannot cut her ties to her daughter and has a suffocating, obsessive personality. She involves herself in every detail of her daughter’s life, interfers in her relationships with men, showers her with gifts and tries to dictate her clothing and life style. She is honestly concerned and loves her daughter, and Micki tells her tale with much humor. Yet although her humor shows self awareness, she bears all the fears and complexes that she has imbibed from her mother – her address book filled with on-call doctors testifies to her problematic personality. She dreams of a career as a concert pianist, but she is no more than an accompanist in a nursery school. Micki tries hard to find a husband, but repeatedly meets men who use her, and then move on. So she is left alone like a golem in a circle, with happy young girls who have found mates dancing round. Although Micki becomes hysterical following her mother’s sudden death, she is also freed of her guilt towards her. Now she can finally “grow up” to become an independent woman.

A highly acclaimed screen version of Golem in the Circle has been produced for the screen, as has a monodrama version for the stage.

Title Golem in the Circle
Writer's Last Name Perry
Writer's First Name Lily
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
No. Pages 184pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Golem Be-Maʹagal
  • “ This work shows] exceptional literary ability and a refined talent for observation. ”

    President Shimon Peres
  • “ A fascinating book.”