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The Bicycle Boy

The Bicycle Boy, Eli Amir’s new autobiographical novel, follows his earlier publications; Scapegoat, The Dove Flyer and Jasmine, novels that have established his status as one of Israel’s most popular authors.

In the opening of this book, which can be read as a story of self initiation, Nuri the main character leaves the kibbutz. His parents urge him to move to Jerusalem, finish school and fulfill his father’s dream of greatness – perhaps against the bitter price he himself had to pay when he emigrated from Iraq to Israel. Nuri gradually finds his own path to liberation; undermining the economic, social and cultural powers positioning him in the margins of society, always striving beyond.

The Bicycle Boy is a critical account of the emotional, existential and ethical price paid in order to gain social acceptance. Amir does not shy away from touching upon some of the most explosive questions on the agenda of both Israeli and Western society, as a society of immigrants, in general, but he does so without, for a moment, falling into the cohesive schemes of identity politics. Amir provides a tension-filled portrait of Israel in the 1950s, described through Nuri’s eyes. His magical wanderings through the alleys of Jerusalem in the early mornings distributing newspapers provide an unforgettable account of the city.

Title The Bicycle Boy
Writer's Last Name Amir
Writer's First Name Eli
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
No. Pages 623pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Na'ar HaOfanaim
  • “Amir succeeds in delivering a wide scope of tastes, sounds, characters and persons… all the while remaining loyal to the complicated, painful truth.”