Obama takes along novel by David Grossman on vacation

On his trip to Martha’s Vineyard, US President said to be reading Israeli author's 'To the End of the Land.'

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
August 22, 2011 05:55
1 minute read.
US President Barack Obama on vacation

Obama on vacation 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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NEW YORK – US President Barack Obama’s summer reading list includes To the End of the Land by Israeli author David Grossman, US media reported on Saturday.

The president is said to have brought the novel, which depicts a mother’s grief over the fate of her son serving in the IDF, with him to Martha’s Vineyard for his annual vacation.

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Grossman began writing To the End of the Land in 2003 and completed it shortly after his son Uri was killed fighting Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War. It was published in Hebrew in 2008 and an English translation appeared in September 2010.

Besides Grossman, Obama’s reading list includes Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese; The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson; Rodin’s Debutante by Ward Just, a bildungsroman which takes place in Obama’s former residence of Chicago, and The Bayou Trilogy by Daniel Woodrell.

The author of two critically acclaimed best sellers, Dreams From my Father, a memoir, and The Audacity of Hope, a policy book, Obama is perhaps the most literarily inclined president since Theodore Roosevelt, a prolific travel writer and historian.

Obama isn’t the first US president to count an Israeli author in his reading list.

Former US president George W. Bush famously praised Soviet dissident and current Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky for the political treatise The Case for Democracy which he co-wrote with Ron Dermer.



“Sharansky’s book confirmed how I was raised and what I believe,” the president was quoted as saying in 2005.

Bush’s endorsement caused sales to soar turning the manifesto into a bestseller.


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