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In his first novel, Eshkol Nevo paints a riveting picture of Israeli society against the backdrop of the Oslo peace process, the assassination of PM Yitzhak Rabin and the terrorist attacks that followed. It is 1995 and Noa and Amir, a student couple, rent an apartment in a small village near Jerusalem. Noa is studying photography in Jerusalem and Amir is a psychology student in Tel Aviv. The village, originally called Castel, was abandoned by its Arab inhabitants in 1948 and is now the home of Jewish immigrants from Kurdistan. Noa and Amir’s apartment is separated from that of their Kurdish landlords, Sima and Moshe Zakian, by a thin wall, but on each side we find a completely different world. In spite of this, a warm bond develops between the student couple and the young Zakian family – they have two children — and their lives become entwined. At the same time, there is growing conflict between the Moshe and Sima over Moshe`s increasingly religious life-style. Not far from their house lives a family whose eldest son, Gidi, was killed in Lebanon. The grieving parents are difficulty functioning, and their younger son, Yotam, feels that his life is falling apart. He finds an anchor in the sensitive Amir who becomes his surrogate brother, and Yotam finds himself increasingly drawn to the student couple`s home. Saddiq, a Palestinian laborer who is doing some construction work nearby, is also drawn to the house. Saddiq identifies the house as the one from which his family was driven by the Jews when he was a child, and to which his mother still has a rusty key. In one of the novel`s most powerful scenes, Saddiq discovers the jewelry that his mother hid in a wall of the house, but immediately after, he is arrested on suspicion of terrorist activity. Everything, it seems, is falling to pieces, including the relationships, but there is still a chance that Noa and Amir`s love will win through.

Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Turkish
Title Homesick
Writer's Last Name Nevo
Writer's First Name Eshkol
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Zmora-Bitan
No. Pages 361pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Arbaʹa Batim Ve-Gaʹagua
  • “ A terrific, skilfully crafted novel… Nevo describes a country divided by ever deeper rifts... What is universal in Nevo’s novel is its attempt to go beyond the surface and the obvious to “grasp the inner sense.” ”

    Le Monde
  • “ Nevo proves himself to be an important voice in young Israeli literature, particularly through the subtle interaction he creates between individual lives and collective history. ”

    Le Nouvel Observateur
  • “ Homesick could be a manifesto for the many distinguished Israeli novelists whose ranks Nevo joins with this impressive debut… a wise, compassionate book… a sad, hopeful, enchanting novel. ”

    Times Literary Supplement
  • “ Homesick is a unique debut work… and tells a vertiginous love story well. ”