Shimoni's Lover

Shimoni's Lover

by Jennifer Levine, Jenifer Levin, Jennifer Levin
     
 

Yael sent four sons to war. Three returned.

It is her oldest son, Shimon, who haunts them all. A gifted man and military hero, he died horribly in combat.

Nadav, wounded and maimed, struggles to comprehend his own survival.

Rafi, a rebellious gay man in a loveless marriage, wants desperately to flee to America but cannot bring himself to…  See more details below

Overview

Yael sent four sons to war. Three returned.

It is her oldest son, Shimon, who haunts them all. A gifted man and military hero, he died horribly in combat.

Nadav, wounded and maimed, struggles to comprehend his own survival.

Rafi, a rebellious gay man in a loveless marriage, wants desperately to flee to America but cannot bring himself to leave.

Michael, a young paratrooper, fights to live up to the legend of Shimon, but does not understand his own hatred and rage.

Mostly absent, and moving through their lives as if in a dream, is their politically powerful father Gabriel, the General.

The memory of Shimon also torments Miriam, his lover—a woman the remaining brothers are obsessed with. Miriam, too, has secrets of her own.

All of these devastated people are forced to live in a state of perilous balance between war and peace, violence and tenderness. And they strive, against all odds, to reclaim the ability to love.

Shimoni’s Lover tells the story of the Kol family of Kibbutz Mayan Ha-Emek, Israel, in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Shimoni Kol, eldest of four sons of an Israeli military leader, was a mythic figure with power and influence that touched all who knew him. After his early death in war, Shimoni became a touchstone, symbolizing the strengths and failings of Israel itself. Nadav, the second son, maimed in battle himself, becomes obsessed with Shimoni's lover, Miriam Sagrossa, working out through her and her strange daughter his relationship to his family and country. Rafi, the homosexual third son who marries an American woman on his kibbutz and dreams of driving a cab in New York City, finds hope and acceptance in the memory of his brother's wisdom. For the fourth son Michael, struggling to fill Shimoni's soldier boots, the future is less clear. Actually much is unclear in the plot of this rambling novel set in postwar Israel; however, Levin, author of Water Dancer and Snow, creates a sharp and vivid picture of the effect on her characters of daily kibbutzim life: the grinding work schedule, lack of privacy and occasional soaring moments of comaraderie, shared hopes and common purpose. (September)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780151819904
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/01/1987
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
378

Meet the Author

Jenifer Levin is known for her novels Water Dancer (nominated for the PEN/Hemingway Award), Snow, Shimoni’s Lover, The Sea of Light (nominated for the Lambda Literary Award in Fiction), and her short story collection Love and Death, & Other Disasters. Her essays and short fiction are widely anthologized. She has also contributed feature articles to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, among others. One of the first openly gay authors to be published in the mainstream press, the Washington Post named her part of the “lesbian literati”.

Levin graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Comparative Literature, subsequently studying Medical Anthropology and South Asian history. She traveled widely in Europe and Southeast Asia, lived and worked in Israel, and studied Tibetan Buddhism for 10 years. A former competitive swimmer, she has coached women’s running and weight-training and completed several marathons.

Levin has two sons whom she adopted as toddlers from Cambodia. Her essays about Cambodia—a country devastated by war, poverty, and genocide—before and after the intervention of the United Nations, and her experiences adopting and raising special needs children, have appeared in several anthologies.

She and her family live in New York City.

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