Hagar, a young Israeli housewife in a village in the 1950s, is overwhelmed by the drabness of her life and estranged from her husband Tuvia. She attempts to break out of her closed existence and sets in motion a series of events that will end in tragedy. Hagar is childless and jealous of her neighbor, Sarah, who has two children. Sarah's older boy, Yiftah, often accompanies Hagar on her long walks in the neighboring Arab village, now deserted and used as an army training base. The deserted Arab village is her nemesis: Hagar meets an Israeli soldier with whom she begins an affair. Looking for Hagar, Yiftah sees them together, wanders off and falls down a well. While the village searches for the boy, Hagar tries to disown responsibility, as she later shrugs off her own life when Yiftah is found dead. As the villagers attend the funeral, Hagar packs her bags and her husband takes her to the bus station. The future is as bleak as the past, and Hagar awaits her fate.
This book is a minor masterpiece and one of the best novels out of Israel in recent memory.
A short, powerful novel.
New York Times
Koren is inspired by Hemingway and his descriptions of behavior illustrate internal degradation.
Koren makes every word count, and his restrained storytelling is charged with the tensions of living in an embattled land.
The atmosphere of the novel...reminds us of Camus's Stranger, but in an extremely subtle way.
|Title|| ||Funeral at Noon|
|Author’s Last Name|| ||Koren|
|Author's First Name|| ||Yeshayahu|
|Language(s)|| ||English, German, French|
|Publisher (Hebrew)|| ||Siman Kriah|
|Year of Publication (Hebrew)|| ||1974|
|Publisher 2 (Hebrew)|| ||Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah|
|Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew)|| ||1989; 2008; 2014|
|No. Pages|| ||156 pp.|
|Book title - Hebrew (phonetic)|| ||Levaya Ba-Tzohorayim|
|Representation|| ||Represented by ITHL|
French: Arles, Actes Sud, 1994
English: Vermont, Steerforth, 1996
German: Gerlingen, Bleicher, 1996; pback: Frankfurt, Fischer,1999