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The Man from There

A young soldier from Tel Aviv serving in the British army is homeward bound on a train from Cairo when he hears that Israel has declared statehood and that his fellow soldiers are defending it. But he is still in Egypt, and when the train is halted, the soldier is trapped in a small Egyptian border town. A fellow passenger, Michel Saraj, an Egyptian doctor, protects and hides him in his fiancée’s house. From that moment the story takes a haunting turn. The relations between the family and its uninvited guest are ambiguous: why does the family remain silent towards the soldier, yet refuses to allow him to leave? Why does the young doctor, at first eager to talk with the soldier, suddenly turn hostile?

As news of the Egyptian army’s defeats reaches the town, the tension surrounding “the man from there” increases, until a surprising reversal when Dahina protects the soldier from Saraj’s violence.

English, French, Japanese
Title The Man from There
Writer's Last Name Ben-Ner
Writer's First Name Yitzhak
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
No. Pages 172pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Ish Mi-Sham
  • “ This novel is a breakthrough in our literature. Everything else that has been written about the 1948 war has been told from the Israeli point of view. Here, the debate between the Israeli and the Egyptian renders all prejudices about 'the other side' meaningless.”