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Between Life and Death

Yoram Kaniuk
In Between Life and Death Kaniuk describes the four months during which he lay unconscious in a Tel Aviv hospital, hovering between the world of the living and that of the dead. This book is a literary attempt to penetrate the author`s lost consciousness, to answer the question of what led him to fight for his life and hold onto it with such desperate stubbornness.
With rare sincerity and great courage, Kaniuk goes back to his own death throes and reprieve, as well as to the way stations of his life. With his unique style and rich language, this story shifts between memory and illusion, imagination and testimony. Events and people-some real and some not-blend into a vast fresco, a larger-than-life story about life itself. As in previous books, Kaniuk inquires into the place of death in society, the human lust for life and relationships between human beings, among whom we find soldiers in battle, friends and family.
Kaniuk also writes about the Jewish people, the Holocaust survivors in his childhood neighborhood, heroic stories and battles on which he was raised and the 1948 War of Independence in which he fought.
This book, in which the author announces his rebirth at the age of seventy-four, is Kaniuk`s literary testament, and in it we find a vibrant dialogue with many of his earlier works.

There is something undeniably admirable in the work to turn suffering into art.

Jewish Book Council

Classic… Harshav’s translation is… excellent. And it elegantly brings forth both Kaniuk’s peculiarly beautiful style and the Israeli culture and life that he both disdained and loved.

The Guardian

Both a rich tapestry of a life gone by and a contemporary appreciation of a near-death experience… Captivating.

Library Journal

stunning tale. Nothing suits Kaniuk's writing like this semi-consciousness that is conducive to a free association of images and sensations… Of this dark tale, Kaniuk has said that with the exception of the Book of Job, it is the funniest text ever written about death.
Le Monde

Kaniuk’s best novel to date…The author captures a rare voice, a tone which is elegiac, full of rhythm, paratactic, and irresistible. It achieves excellence and transparent wonder. 
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 

A powerfully eloquent text which takes the reader into a land which is at once a no-man's-land and yet unmistakably Kaniuk-land… Kaniuk has proved once again that he is not only the most outlandish and the most radical among Israel's authors, but also the youngest and the most courageous.
Die Zeit

Kaniuk Between Life and Death
Title Between Life and Death
Author’s Last Name Kaniuk
Author's First Name Yoram
Language(s) Hebrew, English, German, French
Genre autobiographical novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2007
No. Pages 207 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Al Ha-Chayim Ve-Al Ha-Mavet
Representation Represented by ITHL


German: Berlin, Ullstein, 2009
French: Paris, Fayard, 2011

English: New York, Restless Books, 2016
Italian: Florence, Giuntina, 2016


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