Woman Country is a sensitive autobiographical novel in which the personal is deftly interwoven with Israel`s history over the past 50 years. On the one hand, it is a private return to scenes of childhood, and at the same time a journey undertaken by an entire generation to the early years of the State of Israel. The book passes through various way-stations in Israel and abroad, stopping at the testimonies of friends and relatives to examine the picture - both personal and national - from different angles in order to gain deeper understanding of the relation between the two. There are also skillful descriptions of the various landscapes, as well as of the scents and colors that are part of Israeli life - the greenness of Mount Carmel, the Caesarea shoreline, the smell of the fields in the north and the salty tang of the sea on the beach at Bat Yam. Side by side in the narrative, we thus find the sensual experiences of the country that have shaped the author`s life and his relationships with family and friends, often characterized by underlying tensions: his parents, author Aharon Megged and actress Ida Zurit; his wife, writer Zeruya Shalev with whom he corresponds throughout the book; his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, all of whom make up a living and very colorful portrait. Interestingly, this portrait also reveals a very different Tel Aviv from the one we are accustomed to: not the vital, vibrant city of today, but a tiny one fighting for its life and dwarfed, in the eyes of the child, by the enchanted landscape of the kibbutzim and moshavim. Woman, Country dwells on different human relations, on family burdens, fast friendships, but mainly on the love for one`s homeland, the love of a man for a woman.
Magnificent writing! Megged is a word artist and we find quote-worthy literary gems throughout the book… It documents an entire generation.
Time Out Tel Aviv
A rare work in Israel. Reading this book gives [the reader] an intimate experience, it touches the soul…Woman Country is filled with beauty and wisdom, narcissism and modesty, realism and lyricism, revolt and compromise.
[Megged’s work] is written in blood and reads like a prayer.
Author Yoel Hoffmann
Partial English translation available (for publishers only)