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The Remains of Love [Shards of Life]

Zeruya Shalev
In Shalev's radiant new novel, her insight, intensity and unique style come together to explore the conflicts between parents and children. Elderly Hemda Horovitz lies in bed in Jerusalem, barely conscious, and bitterly examines her life: her youth on the kibbutz, unable to live up to the demands of her stern pioneer father; her loveless marriage to an equally rigid Holocaust survivor, and her two children, one of whom she couldn't love, the other too much. Avner, her beloved son, has grown up to become a heavy, anguished man, frustrated in his work and tortured by a marriage filled with contempt and resentment. At the hospital with his mother, he becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman he sees there; after her husband's death, a strange and delicate relationship develops between them.
Dina, Hemda's daughter, has married a taciturn photographer and put aside her professional dreams in order to give her teenage daughter, Nitzan, the warmth she never received from her own mother. But as Nitzan withdraws from her, she slides into despair, and is overcome by a longing to adopt an abandoned child. In the face of family opposition, Dina finds herself at a dead end: she cannot give up the child she longs for, but may have to give up the family she has to satisfy it. An awe-inspiring portrayal of parents and children, of the anger, resentment, disappointment, yearning, insult, and love that bind and separate them.
The book was nominated in France for both prestigious prix Femina and prix Medicis, 2014.

I am hypnotized by Zeruya Shalev`s new book.
President Shimon Peres

Very impressive!

Author J.M. Coetzee

An adventure of the psyche – in the last pages of the book, Shalev brings together the threads of the plot in a breathtaking triumph of love.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The most important female voice in Israeli literature.
Die Welt

The Remains of Love is a major novel. It offers unforgettable insights on the family, on love that cannot be given and on life in Israel.
Nouvel Observateur                                

It is with the same painstaking detail of an archaeologist that Zeruya Shalev excavates the shifting ground of sentiments – or resentments. .. Inseparable from the identity of the characters and their heartbreaks, the collective destiny permeates this dense, vibrant, carnal book whose entrancing, vertiginous writing continuously pulses apart the slightest emotional jolt.

La Semaine Metz Thionville Moselle 

As in her previous novels, the author sinks her teeth into human relations and gnaws on the concept of what remains ... This novelist has the knack of shuttling between childhood and age, mingling and separation, doubt and certitude … The Remains of Love … forces introspection …

Ruth Scheps, Europe 


Zeruya Shalev ... touches live electricity to a rather deadened family ... in this frightening, majestic novel … At the same time wide-ranging and obsessive, The Remains of Love is a failure report in perfectly literary form ... this long story is simultaneously magnificent and shattering …  

Toute la Culture


ShalevZ_What Remains of Love
Title The Remains of Love [Shards of Life]
Author’s Last Name Shalev
Author's First Name Zeruya
Language(s) Hebrew, English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2011
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 2015
No. Pages 336 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Sheʹerit Ha-Chayim
Representation Represented by ITHL


German: Berlin, Berlin Verlag, 2012; pback: Berlin Taschenbuch, 2013

Dutch: Cossee, Amsterdam, 2012

Romanian: Polirom, Bucharest, 2012

Italian: Feltrinelli, Milan, 2013

English: Bloomsbury, New York/London, 2013

Polish: WAB, Warsaw, 2013

Portuguese: Bertrand Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, forthcoming

Turkish: Can, Istanbul, 2013

Spanish: Siruela, Madrid, 2016

French: Gallimard, Paris, 2014; Folio/Gallimard, Paris, 2016

Portuguese: Amadora, Portugal, 2020/Elsinore, 2018

Romanian: Bucharest, Polirom, 2012

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