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Human Parts

Orly Castel-Bloom
In her latest novel, Orly Castel-Bloom is revealed to be a sensitive seismograph of Israeli society. On the one hand, this is a topical novel, dealing with the painful realities of Israeli life and the instability and anxiety which characterize these times; on the other hand, it is a novel about the universal human plight and existential fears.
The book has not one but several protagonists, human fragments, who may or may not represent a complete and whole entity. Several of them live in Tel Aviv, others on the periphery, and one of them, the president of the country, drifts in his official car from one highly publicized condolence visit to the next. All of these characters live in a poorer Israel, a country with rising unemployment, where shooting incidents and suicide bombers claim lives on a daily basis. The despair is profound, peace seems more remote than ever, and as if the heavens themselves were inflicting punishment, the winter is unprecedentedly severe. The influenza epidemic that accompanies it kills Liat, Adir Bergson`s sister at the beginning of the novel. Adir owns a Tel Aviv laundromat and lives with his beautiful girlfriend, Tasaro, an immigrant from Ethiopia and a model. He is reluctant to make their relationship permanent and is repelled by her family. Iris Ventura, his former girlfriend, a divorcee with three children, ekes out a meager living; while Katy, the most pathetic character of all, makes a living cleaning hallways of apartment buildings and dreams of being a professional make-up artist on TV. They are all trying desperately to cling to life in a situation that is almost apocalyptic. Will redemption ever come and will tbe future be any better? The open ending heightens the feeling that there is no way out.

Human Parts
Title Human Parts
Author’s Last Name Castel-Bloom
Author's First Name Orly
Language(s) English, German, French, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Kinneret
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2002
No. Pages 267 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Chalakim Enoshiyim
Representation Represented by ITHL


English: Toronto, Key Porter, 2003; Boston, David Godine, 2003
Italian: Rome, e/o, 2003
Portuguese: Rio de Janeiro, Imago, 2003
French: Arles, Actes Sud, 2004
German: Munich, Piper, 2004
Arabic: Haifa, Kul Shee, 2007