A young Tel Aviv woman tells the story of her life so far: first as an infant and as a schoolgirl, lazy but obedient; then as a teenager, a little wayward and rebellious but still compliant; later as a sensuous young woman, taking her fill of life’s pleasures until her military service intervenes, a bit inconvenient. But the two-year stint passes quickly and she is again as free as a bird, lusting and lusted after, winging her way to foreign lands. But now, issues that she had only glimpsed from the protective environment of home loom large, and force her to think. She does not like what she sees; she is obliged to react.
This is a very contemporary Israeli story. Its protagonists are the children of salt-of-the-earth parents, they themselves the second generation of this Israeli nobility, a whole generation that demanded peace but must go to war. The narrator-heroine, Klil Zisapel’s alter ego, is part of this generation. But as these youngsters come of age, awareness strikes and they become critical of the political, social and moral deterioration of Israel between the Oslo Agreements of 1994 and the Second Lebanon War of 2006.
Zisappel has chosen to express her anger and frustration in a unique and audacious literary manner. She draws her inspiration from Dante’s Divine Comedy, but even more from the Bible, using its linguistic tools, its rhetoric and its patterns in order to weave her own secular work of art. The result is a subversive and insolent text that both wails and laughs, forgives and fulminates over our agonizing situation here and now.
An impressive new book… Intriguing, entertaining and sad. Zisapel’s linguistic prowess, [its] biblical phrasing, is simply breathtaking.
A remarkable literary feat… Zisapel’s readiness to confront the society she grew up in…evokes admiration.
A must read for all lovers of Hebrew.