Four characters shape this novel: Zvi, a university lecturer in Land of Israel history, for whom the Hebrew language is the cornerstone of the Zionist enterprise; Mina, his ex-student and partner, a young woman who longs for a child but does not conceive; and his parents, the founders of one of the first kibbutzim in Israel, who now live in Tel Aviv. For Zvi`s parents, Israel was both vision and refuge: they built the country`s paths, streets and buildings; now they have only their memories. For Zvi and Mina, on the other hand, the Hebrew condition is simply the reality they were born into.
During the course of one day, events, which recur like a chorus, appear in three different versions, each one transforming the last. In a brilliant touch, these accounts also reflect the styles of the Hebrew greats of the past-Agnon, Brenner and Gnessin among others—thus reviving a vanishing literary wealth. Ultimately, through their dispersal and re-assembly, these stories and voices reveal the "Hebrew condition" to be a struggle between Israel`s many versions of itself, and the drama of its endlessly changing self-image.
The book`s design is a work of genius, it turns The Hebrew Condition into an all-embracing reading experience. The Hebrew condition – displacement, immigration, searching and longing - emerges in each of its stages and exposes the crisis of a society that is in fact still lost and seeking its way.
Her first novel! One simply shakes one`s head in disbelief...With its twists of time and language, The Hebrew Condition excels in linking the individual with the collective... a sophisticated novel.
The scent of this book - the scent of literature, the touch of this fine prose fabric - can be detected from afar… awakening the fathers of Hebrew literature from their hundred-year-long slumber.
This book is like a small miracle… You can open it on any page and see the Hebrew glisten like a polished diamond. This, after all, is what makes or breaks literature.