'Whence Israel and the Jewish people?'

By ROCHELLE FURSTENBERG
May 17, 2017 15:53

Recent fiction has taken to the question of ‘Israeliness' through various – and at times, opposing – lenses.




Flag of Israel

Flag of Israel. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

IN THE 1980s critics pronounced that “Hebrew literature has become personal. Writers have cut their umbilical cord to the larger issues of the State, the destiny of the Jewish people.” But a glance at some contemporary works tempers this conclusion.

Whether it comes in the form of a romance, a detective novel, or a family saga, much Israeli fiction continues to struggle with the question, “Whence Israel and the Jewish people?” Ronit Matlon’s novel, “And the Bride Closed The Door,” appears to be light domestic fiction, but it actually provides a glimpse of the “ethnic demon,” the still-painful divide between Ashkenazim and Sephardim.

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