A drunken driver. A woman is run over. This nightmare scenario is the hub of Asaf Schurr`s new book. Next to Menachem, the driver, sits his close friend Motti. But when the police arrive, Motti suddenly decides to take the blame for the woman`s death. Menachem is stunned by the gesture but lets his friend sacrifice himself. Then the two friends go their separate ways - Menachem back home to his family, and Motti, always a loner, to prison.
Despite these dramatic events, the tone of the novel is restrained. Motti almost never thinks about the sacrifice he has made, and Menachem returns to his life without a second thought.
On the other hand, the novel does dwell at length on the relationship people have with their pets. Motti, seemingly unemotional about human beings, finds the separation from his dog, Laika - named after the first space dog - almost unbearable. When Menachem, who is taking care of Laika, loses her, Motti cannot forgive him and the intensity of his feelings emerges when he describes his terrible pain at her loss.
Motti explores the gap between the protagonist`s personality and his extraordinary deed, and offers us a fascinating portrait of his closed, introverted world.
Schurr eloquently plays on the disquieting relationship between friends; between the worth of a life lived richly on the interior, versus one lived falsely and loudly in public.
Motti becomes more and more miraculous as the apparently simple man acquires another dimension… Hardly to be surpassed in its scrupulous brittleness.
An original and gripping novel… Schurr has written a fascinating book on friendship between two men… An author to be remembered. We look forward to reading his next book.
Die Berliner Literaturkritik
One of the most gifted young writers we have.
|Author’s Last Name|| ||Schurr|
|Author's First Name|| ||Asaf|
|Language(s)|| ||English, German, French, Italian|
|Publisher (Hebrew)|| ||Babel|
|Year of Publication (Hebrew)|| ||2008|
|No. Pages|| ||198 pp.|
|Book title - Hebrew (phonetic)|| ||Motti|
|Representation|| ||Represented by ITHL|
German: Berlin, Berlin Verlag, 2010
French: Arles, Actes Sud, 2010
Italian: Rome, Voland, 2010
English: Champaign, IL, Dalkey Archive, 2011