A daughter accompanies her father in the last months of his life. She watches as he becomes ever more confused, and wishes to preserve something of his personality, disappearing before her eyes. The more he forgets, she remembers; the further he drifts away, she senses a new closeness between them; and as her father's hold on life is loosened, its meaning is revealed to her.
In clear and lyrical prose Noga Albalach draws a portrait of her father, tells his life story and examines the relationship between them. She takes a deeper look at their family and the people who surround them, and the way those delicate relationships change as her father's illness progresses. Through memories and tragic-comic everyday moments, poetic in a mundane way, Albalach pieces together a lively portrait of a brave and humble man and the painful process of watching him slowly disappear. His life, illness and death shed a new light on the daughter's life and bring new insights.
The Old Man/Farewell, a story about one man, is actually about every man, every parent and child, every family affected by the inevitable passing of time, by illness and death
This book is, to my mind, a masterpiece.
Author Dror Burstein, Mitahat Lashulhan Blog
It is difficult for me to express in words how much generosity and beauty and moral honesty there is in this book.
Author Orna Kazin
A beautiful and minimalist distillation of the existential absurdity of human life, which chokes the throat as it is read.
Yoana Gonen, Haaretz
If selection of the recipient of the Israel Prize for Literature were up to me, I would award it today to Noga Albalach. A rare literary gem. It is slender and unassuming, full of attention; free of embellishment, full of wonderful insights and compassion, and it is the gaze of a loving daughter at her father as he fades away. It is one of the loveliest and most lucid books I have ever read.
Journalist Yigal Sarna
Albalach paints a melancholy, moving picture of her father; as if she is seeking a quiet refuge from the surrounding noise in order to shape a memory that is all love. An Old Man: Farewell joins other masterpieces that depict a beloved person losing their memory. This is a wonderful book that amongst all the moments of sadness still speaks of optimism, love of humanity and love for the world.
Elad Zeret, Yedioth Aharonoth
Decline is precisely what drives Albalach’s slender volume, the tunnel that leads to the light of earlier memories, by means of which she paints the portrait of the father with much love and with great appreciation for the way he chose to lead his life. The end does not fade, but rather intensifies everything that has happened before, emphasizing the quality of the father as a human being and as a parent.
Yael Naamani, Yedioth Aharonoth