Saturday, March 22, 2014

It Happened in Israel - new Hebrew fiction

The Missing File by D. A. Mishani (M)
translated from the Hebrew by Steven Cohen detective Avraham Avraham knows that when a crime is committed in his sleepy suburb of Tel Aviv, there is little need for a complex investigation. There are no serial killers or kidnappings here. The perpetrator is usually the neighbor, the uncle, or the father. As he has learned, the simplest explanation is always the answer. But his theory is challenged when a sixteen-year-old boy named Ofer Sharabi disappears without a trace while on his way to school one morning. There is no simple explanation, and Avraham's ordered world is consumed by the unimaginable perplexity of the case.

"An outstanding first novel. . . . Mishani puts his expertise in the genre to good use in combining the procedural and the puzzle with artful misdirection." - Publisher Weekly

The Retrospective by A.B. Yehoshua (M)
translated from the Hebrew by Stuart Schoffman during a retrospective of his early work, aging film director Yair Moses attempts to reconcile with the difficult but brilliant screenwriter from whom he is estranged, but the price that Trigano demands will have lasting consequences.

"With beautiful wordsmanship, Yehoshua entangles dignity and humiliation, repugnance and rapture, showing us how difficult they become to distinguish" - Library Journal

Between Friends by Amos Oz (M)
translated by Sondra Silverston in the fictitious Kibbutz Yikhat, eight interconnected stories portray men and women who endure personal hardships in the shadow of one of the greatest collective dreams of the twentieth century.

"The mind is a place Oz explores masterfully in all its contradiction, texture and heartache. Between Friends paints the daily lives behind utopian dreams, fully realized." - New York Daily News

Lineup by Liad Shoham (M)
translated from the Hebrew by Sara Kitai

Lineup is a twisted tale of mistaken identity, organized crime, a disgraced detective looking for redemption, a tireless young reporter, and an innocent man with a not-so-innocent past. Which lines will they cross and what will they be willing to risk, as their worlds begin to collapse?

"Making his U.S. debut, best-selling Israeli author Shoham (the "Israeli John Grisham") has written an enjoyable and compelling thriller that should appeal to fans of urban crime thrillers (such as those by Michael Connelly and Robert Crais)" - Library Journal

The Property by Rutu Modan (M
translation by Jessica Cohen Modan's second full-length graphic novel is a triumph of storytelling and fine lines. After the death of her son, Regina Segal takes her granddaughter Mica to Warsaw, hoping to reclaim a family property lost during the Second World War. As they get to know modern Warsaw, Regina is forced to recall difficult things about her past, and Mica begins to wonder if maybe their reasons for coming aren't a little different than what her grandmother led her to believe. Modan offers up a world populated by prickly seniors, smart-alecky public servants, and stubborn women--a world whose realism is expressed alternately in the absurdity of people's behavior and in the complex consequences of their sacrifices. Rutu Modan was born in Israel in 1966. She lives in Tel Aviv.

"The pursuit of old family documents is concurrent with the unearthing of family secrets, but Modan doesn't dole out the revelations with alarm or melodrama, but rather with a casual good nature toward her subjects, backed up with art somewhat reminiscent of Tintin but revealing the deepest memories of guilt and loss with merely the twitch of a line. A beautiful, fully realized story that's as much "novel" as "graphic" - Publisher Weekly

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