Yossi Avni’s first collection of short stories depicts homosexual life in contemporary Israel. It is also a poignant exploration of the torments of love, homosexual or not. The moods, settings and characters carry us from the narrators everyday life to his fantasy life, and then to his seedy and even dangerous night life.
The first half of the book, "How I Found Ron," can be read as a novella in eight sections, tracing the narrator’s sexual coming-of-age and culminating in the dramatic moment when he finds true love with Ron. In elegant and bold prose, the narrator reveals his intimate life, beginning when he was the coddled child of an over-nurturing mother. Avni succeeds in creating a narrative persona who is both pathetic and sympathetic. In the second section Avni uses more varied themes, but always returns to the subject of passion and its discontents.
Written in a rich language, in a refined rhythm and with carefully chosen words. The torments of desire are cloaked by the direct and ironic tone.
Avni resembles Jean Genet in his attempt to find beauty in a dark and painful world, and in the decadence, decline, even calamity pervading his homosexual life.
Partial English translation available (for publishers only)
|Title|| ||The Garden of Dead Trees|
|Author’s Last Name|| ||Avni-Levy|
|Author's First Name|| ||Yossi|
|Language(s)|| ||Hebrew, German|
|Publisher (Hebrew)|| ||Zmora-Bitan|
|Year of Publication (Hebrew)|| ||1995|
|No. Pages|| ||153 pp.|
|Book title - Hebrew (phonetic)|| ||Gan Ha-Etzim Ha-Metim|
|Representation|| ||Represented by ITHL|
German: Frankfurt/Hamburg, Suhrkamp/Mannerschwarm, 2000; pback: Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 2002; Mannerschwarm, 2006; new ed.: 2014