This collection contains 28 of Orly Castel-Bloom`s most highly acclaimed short stories, encompassing 17 years of work of the most original and daring writer to emerge in Israeli literature during the 1980s. Castel-Bloom`s short story collections as well as her novels place her in the first rank of Israeli writers. She redefines the relationship between style and content, moving from the tragic to the comic and setting aside standard literary conventions. The present collection reflects the point to which the author`s language has developed, from the predominantly standard language of her first stories to the unique and liberated language of the later ones, stories which seek to hold a mirror up to society, and, more prominently, feature elements of fantasy and satire.
Castel-Bloom comments on the political situation in Israel, on the condition of women in society and on human existence. Sometimes criticism is restrained, as in Heathcliff," where the protagonist's romantic-cinematic imagination struggles against the tough, violent reality of the Israeli street, until the predictable awakening and defeat. At other times, as in "The Woman Who Preferred to Search for Food," the protest is blunt.
The collection ends with a new story in which Castel-Bloom describes herself in the distant future, an old woman in a chronic-care institution, free at last from her obligations to society.
Selected stories available in English translation (for publishers only)