The novel begins with a murder: Guy claims that his hands pushed a man called Brenner into a lime pit, and that, as he did it, he felt himself become a different person.
Guy left his hometown about forty years ago, at age 17. Now he has come back for a visit, maybe even to stay, and he plans to meet the people who knew him long ago. Brenner, who never left the town, shows him the new neighborhood, but the reader will never know why Guy pushes him into the lime pit. Maybe because Brenner moved his pelvis slightly and looked at him in a questioning way—or so it seemed to Guy, insecure and desperately wanting to fit in.
Guy’s seven-day visit is depicted in very high resolution, but the details leave many unanswered questions. All of Guy’s meetings end strangely, as though he wanted to hear his own flaws spoken out by the other person. But what is it that he both fears and wants to reveal? And why did he flee the town, not even showing up for his parents’ funerals?
The unique language that Berdugo creates here is breathtaking. It places this novel among the select few great novels of Hebrew literature.
This is Berdugo’s fourth novel; it was nominated for the Sapir Prize in 2017.
“For literature such as this, frequencies have to be reset.”
“A challenge to Israelis’ concept of time and logic…language that succeeds in reviving dimensions that had been lost to Hebrew.”
“The novel that appeared recently with the odd title Parce Que Guy is in my eyes a further and improved level in Berdugo’s ability to leverage the Hebrew language in a sophisticated and original manner. A daring, but also credible, advanture in its wise use of Hebrew.
“This book is another brick in Sami Berdugo’s very significant literary project, one of clarifying issues of alienation and belonging in Hebrew Literature”
The Sapir Prize Jury
And nevertheless, Sami’s “improvised” Hebrew arouses amazement. Sometimes the expressions are so surprising in their unprecedented accuracy, in their one-off, jeweler-like crafting, that you have no choice but to surrender to them completely.
Eran Horowitz, Odot