Apples from the Desert: Selected Stories

Apples from the Desert: Selected Stories

by Savyon Liebrecht

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Finely wrought stories of private lives that shed light on a terrifying political conflict.--New York Times Book ReviewSee more details below


Finely wrought stories of private lives that shed light on a terrifying political conflict.--New York Times Book Review

Editorial Reviews

Engrossing and skillful tales that take you through the lives of real people, to the heart of their emotional and moral being.
Washington Post Book World
Tikkun Magazine
What makes these stories most powerful are their unflinching commitment to enter into the consciousness of women as they approach the complexities of contemporary life with a distinctively self-affirming women's perspective. It is work that is finely nuanced to social reality and yet powerfully alive to the inner struggles and psychological twists of its characters. A truly beautiful piece.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As Grace Paley notes in her foreword to the first English translation of popular Israeli writer Leibrecht's work, these dozen stories are 'personal -- but they are also fierce pleas for understanding and justice.' Their themes are somber: the enmity between Jews and Arabs; the oppression of women in sometimes violently unhappy marriages; the lingering effects of the Holocaust. In 'A Room on the Roof,' a young Jewish woman finds herself drawn to the educated and sensitive leader of a group of Arabs she has hired -- against her husband's wishes -- to build an addition to her house, but prejudice, misunderstanding and fear overcome her attempts to connect with them. In the title story, a woman who has gone to a kibbutz to retrieve her runaway daughter comes to admire the egalitarian affair between the girl and a fellow kibbutznik, but returns to her own loveless marriage at the end. And in 'Hayuta's Engagement,' a woman tries unsuccessfully to mediate between her heartless daughter's desire for a smooth engagement party and her father's compulsive need to reveal the horrors of his long-ago concentration camp existence; though compassionate, she buckles under her daughter's insistence that the old man be silenced, with tragic results. Liebrecht's strong prose bears witness to conflict in powerful ways, and if her refusal to provide upbeat endings makes the tone of these tales unrelievedly dark, she is true to her subjects and their history.
Library Journal
Available in English for the first time, these selected stories from best-selling Israeli author Liebrecht cover a wide range of feminist themes. Liebrecht portrays the gulf between Israelis and Palestinians, macho Israeli men and their misunderstood wives, Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, and the older generation who remembers the Holocaust and the younger generation, who would prefer to forget it. In "A Room on the Roof Salah," for instance, a strong-minded young Israeli wife and mother contracts to have a room built on the roof of her house while her husband is away. She feels ambivalent toward the crew of Arab workmen: could these hands be the ones that planted a booby-trapped doll at the gate of the religious school down the street? The workmen evoke both fear and compassion in her, and she achieves a kind of egalitarian rapport with one of them. An excellent collection of well-written reality checks on Israeli life; highly recommended.--Molly Abramowitz, Silver Spring, MD
Suzanne Ruta
Liebrecht is the equal of far better-known Israeli authors like Amos Oz -- The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
A fine collection of 12 thoughtful and moving stories drawn from the previously published work of an Israeli writer whose dominant concerns are her country's indifferent suppression of women, embattled relationships with its Arab neighbors, and burdensome memories of the Holocaust. In such skillfully dramatized conflicts as her title story's portrayal of a lonely mother unhappily enlightened by her daughter's fulfilling life on a kibbutz, and the tensions between a selfish bride-to-be and her elderly grandfather's continuing imprisonment by the concentration camp he survived decades ago ('Hayuta's Engagement Party'), Liebrecht creates images of a volatile and troubled culture.

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Product Details

Feminist Press at CUNY, The
Publication date:
The Helen Rose Scheuer Jewish Women's Series Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

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