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The Eye of the Cat

An environmentally sensitive narrative, set in the desert city of Beersheva. On the edge of the Turkish-era old city, Haviva Pedaya lives in a house surrounded by feral cats, the heroes of her innovative book. And next to them, human beings who live on the margins of society – eccentric animal lovers, homeless people, drug addicts, illegal migrants, lunatics and others. Pedaya scrutinizes both groups with compassion as they move together in the urban space looking for food. And through them, she offers a critique of urbanism and grieves over the erasure of nature in modern times. For these cats, the representatives of untamed nature, are hounded by the city which makes them outsiders in their own habitat.

Pedaya moves seamlessly between various styles, from fiction to the language of reference books, and from philosophy to Kabbala and Jewish thought, to express her desire to break away from history and give precedence to myth. Alongside wonderful realistic descriptions of the city, its homeless, and the feral cats roaming the streets, she spins a mystical web about the meaning of exile and the other mission of the Jews in the world.

Title The Eye of the Cat
Writer's Last Name Pedaya
Writer's First Name Haviva
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
No. Pages 367pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Be-Eyn He-Chatul
  • “ One of the cleverest books written in the past few years. And it is local in the most complex sense.”

  • “ A highly surprising and original book. A profound indictment of modernity.”

  • “ One of the most beautiful books I have read in recent years.”