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And Where Were You on October 6?

Orit Shaham-Gover
This novel is unique because of its convincing description of the terrible results of war as they affect women. The point of departure is that war injures not only the fighting men, but also the women who remain behind. This is the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, and the protagonist is Hagar, a young woman with an infant daughter, who has lost contact with her husband, Udi, who is fighting in Sinai. As the weeks go by, Hagar becomes obsessed with trying to understand the war and with the question "Where were you on October 6?" She poses it to every soldier she meets, to the point where they begin to avoid her. At the same time she tries to locate her husband and organizes a private trip to Sinai. The debris of war are still strewn over the desert sands, and in one of the burnt-out tanks, her husband`s body comes to light. The discovery was to have brought tranquility and resignation to her troubled soul, but the obsession to understand the war will not go away. Superficially she gets on with her life, enrolls in a university course on movie-making and responds to the romantic advances of Zvika, who turns out to be a lover far more patient than Udi was, though given to mysterious disappearances. Only after Hagar ends her relationship with Zvika does she learn that from time to time he has to be hospitalized because of post-combat trauma. Hagar`s second husband is a lecturer in economics who spent the war hard at work in Boston on his doctorate. Parallel with her peaceful life alongside this easy-going and understanding husband, Hagar carries on her secret life, gathering every scrap of evidence she can find - documentary, written, taped or photographed - about the war. Gradually she builds up a rich archive of material on the Yom Kippur War, but still fails to understand what actually happened there. This holds true even after she documents her own story in a film that is also the story of all the women injured by the war. Perhaps, after her archive is destroyed by fire, Hagar may manage to overcome her trauma.

Shaham-Gover And Where Were You on October 6?
Title And Where Were You on October 6?
Author’s Last Name Shaham-Gover
Author's First Name Orit
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Sifriat Poalim
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2001
No. Pages 316 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Eyfo Hayita Be-Shisha Be-October?]
Representation Represented by ITHL



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