Shaul Glickson, son of an old farming family from Zichron Yaakov, receives an unexpected visit from an Arab journalist, Ibrahim Mahdi, who warns him that his business in the occupied West Bank is being used as a cover for Arab spy activities. Intrigued by Mahdi`s involvement, Dina-Shaul`s sister-sets out to investigate and slowly uncovers the family secret that overshadowed her youth: her father`s love for Shahira, the beautiful daughter of an Arab family on the Zichron farm-and Mahdi`s mother.
A Local Affair, a family saga, is painted on a broad canvas that shifts in time and space between Haifa, Jerusalem, Zichron Yaakov and Fureidis, an Arab-Israeli town. The core events, shortly before the 1973 Yom Kippur War, are embedded in a multi-generational story that starts during the British Mandate and takes us to the heart of the close and complex relationship on which Jewish-Arab coexistence in Israel was founded.
In her beautifully precise and resonant language, Hadara Lazar paints a breathtaking picture of a present that becomes a historical vortex, and the center of a constantly changing scene.
A Local Affair is one of the most profound and fascinating books I`ve read in the passed year. It has epic breadth, psychological depth and narrative momentum.
A Local Affair ...aspires to greatness and lives up to its promise... [It is] daring yet crafted with the gentle hand of an artist.
Hadara Lazar`s new book does not present the partnership [between Jews and Arabs] in order to shatter it, but to illuminate its complexity... Lazar has a unique, distinctive and subtle gift for storytelling.
One should read this novel because of the inscrutable relationship between Jews and Arabs in Israel, characterized partly by close togetherness but mostly by a struggling togetherness... A compelling portrait.
English translation available (for publishers only)