Dan Benaya Seri
Mishael is a brilliantly-colored mosaic of fantasy and folklore that follows the bizarre pregnancy of a childless, middle-aged Jerusalem widower. Set in Jerusalem's Bucharan-Jewish neighborhood, Mishael's world is divided according to lands of origin. When his pregnancy is discovered, Mishael is accused of having had intercourse with a calf, and eventually pays for his fantastic transgression with his life. Marginal figures are revealed in intricate detail. There are the cruel men who dominate the Bucharan neighborhood and the four prospective brides introduced to Mishael before his pregnancy is discovered. The plot progresses through fragmented flashbacks, sub-plots and recurrent images.
Dan Seri's writing is a rare combination of stylistic beauty and the voice of great pain.
Critic Tamar Hess