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Apples from the Desert

Savyon Liebrecht
The eleven stories in this collection are linked by a common theme: two people are caught up in a conflict in an enclosed space ̶ often a room ̶ for a day or a night, but the drama has in fact been transmitted down two or three generations. Troubled contemporary Israeli lives are seen as the legacy of trauma. In “Doves,” the mother, a Holocaust survivor, joins the Communist Party as a protest against her ruined youth. Her defiance reappears in her son, who becomes ultra-Orthodox. His devotion to prayer and his monkish asceticism continue his mother’s obsessions.
In most of Liebrecht’s stories, mothers and mothering are a dominant feature, or the starting point of the action. In one of the finest stories, “On the Line of the Circle,” a relationship depends on the woman’s medical specialization: she is an expert on the mental illness of her lover’s child. Cumulatively, Apples from the Desert explores the private lives that are forged between two people, with the awareness that we cannot shake off our historical baggage.

Liebrecht has perfect pitch for certain hyperalert, abrasive patterns of Jewish speech….Finely wrought stories of private lives shed light on a terrifying political conflict.
New York Times 

Liebrecht reveals herself as a master in describing nuances and moods.
Savyon Liebrecht is one of the most significant examples of the increasing number of women writers in Israel....She belongs to the second generation of Holocaust survivors who confront, through art, the shocking circumstances of their birth and childhood.

Short but intense stories...personal memories that make the reader’s blood run cold are juxtaposed with innocent descriptions.
La Stampa

Apples from the Dessert
Title Apples from the Desert
Author’s Last Name Liebrecht
Author's First Name Savyon
Language(s) English, German, Italian, Chinese, Estonian
Genre stories
Publisher (Hebrew) Sifriat Poalim
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1986
Publisher 2 (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 1992
No. Pages 174 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Tapuchim Min Ha-Midbar
Representation Represented by ITHL


Translations below also include stories from Horses on the Highway & It's All Greek to Me
German: Mannheim, Persona, 1992; 1995; pback: Frankfurt, Fischer, 1995
English: New York, Feminist Press, 1998; London, Loki, 1998
Chinese: Guangzhou, Flower City, 1994
Italian: Rome, edizioni e/o, 2001
Estonian: Tallinn, Loomingu Raamatukogu, 2001

Polish: Krakow, Austeria, forthcoming


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