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Four Men and a Woman

Shulamit Gilboa
Dana, a woman in her early 40s, has reached a critical point in her life. Grappling with a severe illness, she lies in bed for hours on end, reconstructing her life. Her only antidote is her memories of the four lovers who mark the various stages of her life. What effect have they had on her? How do her choices reflect who she is? Can she distinguish between her own desires and those society has conditioned her to have? Clinging to the details of her life, Dana is at once clinging to her sanity and attempting to make sense of her choices, her achievements, and her failures. In a patchwork of intricate storytelling, associatively interweaving past and present, she recounts the stories that have shaped her life.
Four men: Yakir, an aging professor, first introduces Dana to the emotions and sensations of the tantalizing, exhilarating world of love. Uri, a serious student who has meticulously mapped out his future, ostensibly offers Dana the opportunity for the true fruition of love. But an unavoidable decision marks a turning point in this relationship from which there is no return. Dana finally meets the man she knows she is destined to marry; their childless marriage, however, slowly drives them apart. Then there is Yuval, a childhood friend, who re-enters her life unexpectedly but only peripherally.
As she reassembles her fragmented memories, Dana allows herself, and us, to examine the fine borders between the respectable and the promiscuous, the moral and the corrupt, truth and falsehood, denial and recognition. Through Dana`s constant, agonizing fluctuation between two opposing facets of her personality – the femme fatale and the "good girl"– Shulamit Gilboa presents a unique, unmediated account of female experience, questioning societal norms and expectations; their effect on a woman's consciousness; and their sometimes detrimental consequences.

GilboaSh_Four Men and a Woman
Title Four Men and a Woman
Author’s Last Name Gilboa
Author's First Name Shulamit
Language(s) Hebrew, German
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2000
No. Pages 320 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Arba'a Gvarim Ve-Isha
Representation Represented by ITHL


German: Munich, Bertelsmann, 2002

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