Aminadav Sussetz (literally: rockinghorse) is an Israeli painter living in New York in the 1950s. When his father has a stroke, he leaves his family and returns to Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv haunts Aminadav and draws him back to the pathos of a Jewish town, its complaints, its laughter, its constant sense of loss, of being old even as the first buildings are going up. He recalls his father, who loved German culture and exuded the estrangement of the early pioneers, whose dreams always reverted to Europe. And these memories are mixed with an imagined country, the Ukraine, from which his grandparents arrived. But it is Aminadav`s mother, with her ranting, crying and badgering, who is the soul of the novel.
The patchwork reality of the country to which he has returned drives Aminadav crazy, and his mood shifts from self-pity to murderous self-awareness and scornful laughter. Rocking to and fro on the hobby horse of his own craziness, he does not revive a nation, but a holy land of memories that have spilled out of its settlers- suitcases, and of ghosts from distant countries that inhabit the streets.
I find this to be one of the half-dosen most vivid, funny, tragic, most extraordinary novels written in the past decade.
New York Times
It is the constant tension in...the pathos which bursts suddenly into comedy, which gives Rockinghorse its wonderful and rare antique Jewish melody.
Artful and fascinating.
An intense, powerful work of great intellectual sophistication and artistic stature.
English translation available (for publishers only)