A Wall of Light
By Edeet Ravel
Random House Canada. 256 pages. $36.95.
Imagine having to hold your breath every time you ride a bus or sit down at a restaurant, for fear of an explosion. Or being born in the same stinking refugee camp where your grandfather was born. If this were your life, who would expect you not to be angry, depressed or spiteful? How could you begin to live without fear and hate?
Such questions of trauma and recovery are at the heart of Edeet Ravel’s A Wall of Light, a thoughtful and heartfelt novelistic meditation on contemporary Israel’s past and present. (Click here for a PDF of this review.)
Calling Mordecai Richler (1933-2001) the greatest of all Canadian-Jewish writers does not, at first, seem like much of a compliment to him. Could a pond that small have produced a truly big fish? (pdf…)
Raymond + Hannah: A Love Story
By Stephen Marche
Harcourt. 212 pages. $14.
One of the oldest old saws about Jewish dislocation is attributed to Yehuda HaLevi, a physician and Hebrew poet who lived in medieval Spain. “My heart is in the east, and I am in the furthermost west,” he wrote, and over the centuries this line of verse has been echoed, appropriated, twisted, and alluded to by Jews in every corner of the globe to express their feelings about exile and home.
Stephen Marche’s debut novel, Raymond + Hannah, offers the latest spin on this classic plaint. (more…)