A new collection of short stories by one of the most notable writers in contemporary Israeli literature.
"Test" recounts the nerve-racking experience that a woman has to undergo in a sweaty, all-male garage, in order to get her car through its annual licensing test. In "Ivan Ilych", an unsuccessful and penniless writer whose family is pressuring him to open a pizza parlor, avoids this by traveling to a conference on Tolstoy's famous character. He stays at a local inn and here he cannot avoid becoming involved in the inn owners' lives, their lies and secrets. In "Season of the Dead", death brings a fractured family close again. In turn, this death becomes associated with that of a bird, of flowers in the garden, and the death of soldiers in the Second Lebanon War. "The Writer`s Wife" highlights the complex relationship between a self- absorbed writer and his patient wife. And finally, the title story, "Winter Life" recounts a winter the protagonist spent in Boston doing research on Israelis living there. Through her research, which includes types of visas and interviews, she exposes the lives of these expatriates as well as the effect of her own forced exile. Written in typically minimalistic style, these stories once again offer Castel-Bloom's ironic view the world.
PARTIAL TRANSLATION AVAILABLE (for publishers only)
"Winter Life" is a charming novella that brings the “non-story” to a whole new level…“The Writer’s Wife” is truly brilliant. Castel-Bloom is a literary pioneer in marking the ways that institutional and commercial categories create the identity of the individual, and her writing is as refreshing and thought-provoking as it ever was.
An invigorating and amusing book. The joy of writing, springing from a wonderful sense of humor and a razor-sharp eye, exposes reality in all of its tragicomedy… Utterly interesting.
This woman can write, damn it. She can really write… In this book, Castel-Bloom reaches the height of her powers.