This is the first time that the novels A House for One (1975), The Mistress (1983) and A Charming Traitor (1984) have been published in a single volume. They represent the author's perspective on what it means to be Israeli following the watershed 1973 Yom Kippur War. They present psychological-social prose rooted in the lost past of the years before the establishment of the State. The uniquely vital writing reflects the physical reality of Tel Aviv and the socio-political life of secular-urban society in Israel. Within this framework, Orpaz develops the stories of three protagonists: Izzie Ornan, wracked with guilt about his mother's death in the Holocaust and at a turning point in his personal life; Atalia, "the great mother;" and Yoav, the talented young man who eventually takes his own life. The trilogy connects to the form of Orpaz's writing -- all his heroes are on a desperate journey, searching for meaning in a world without faith in Divine Providence. Orpaz shifts between a description of the forces at work in Israeli society and an in-depth discussion about the loss of meaning in life. Yoav, whose brother and uncle have both lost their lives in Israel's wars, experiences an existential void. He sacrifices himself, as it were, at the altar of the death ritual in Israel's wars. Orpaz takes a deep look into the Israeli soul and with near prophetic insight grasps what transpires.
This trilogy is the heart of Orpaz's work. The physical reality of Tel Aviv...finds vital expression here; also the social and political atmosphere or urban, secular Israel in the 1960s and 1970s.
Critic Dan Miron
The pilgrimage and polyphony of Orpaz move dynamically and majestically...between Tomozhenna Street (in a Russian Jewish townlet) and Tel Aviv, between varied registers of voice and of physical and spiritual being.
Orpaz's characters are full of life, totally authentic, colorful and unique.