David Grossman releases new novel
David Grossman's latest novel, "Isha Borahat Mibesora" (English title: "Until the end of the land"), will be released on April 7 by Hasifria Hahadasha, Kibbutz Hameuchad and Siman Kriah books.
David Grossman's latest novel, "Isha Borahat Mibesora" (English title: "Until the end of the land"), will be released on April 7 by Hasifria Hahadasha, Kibbutz Hameuchad and Siman Kriah books. Last night, advance sales of the book started on the Hasifria Hahadasha Web site, which is offering the first 500 copies of the book autographed by Grossman. The first edition of the book will have a print run of 20,000 copies.
The novel, 630 pages long, is about two men, a woman and her two children. The soldier son of the book's heroine, Ora, is leaving to take part in a major military operation, and she runs away from her home in order not to torture herself sitting and waiting for bad news to arrive. She travels to the Galilee and contacts Avram, her childhood sweetheart, and wanders on foot with him across Israel. In order to protect her son and give him strength, she talks about him throughout the entire journey and relives the story of his life.
Since 1982, when Grossman published his first book, the children and young readers book, "Duel" (Du-krav), he has written numerous works including novels, short story collections, children's books, teen novels, novellas, essays and articles.
Ahead of his latest book's release, Grossman decided not to give media interviews. Of his new novel, he wrote in an e-mail sent to Haaretz: "I started writing this book in May 2003, six months before the end of my oldest son Yonatan's military service and six months before his younger brother, Uri, was drafted. Both of them served in the Armored Corps. Uri was very familiar with the plot of the book and the characters. Every time we spoke on the phone and especially when he was on leave, he would ask what was new with the story and in the lives of its heroes ('What did you do to them this week?' was his usual question).
"He spent most of his military service in the occupied territories, on patrols and in observation posts, ambushes and at checkpoints, and occasionally would share with me his experiences.
"I had a feeling, or more accurately, a wish that the book I was writing would protect him. On August 12, 2006, during the last hours of the Second Lebanon War, Uri was killed in south Lebanon. His tank was hit by a missile during an operation to rescue a damaged tank. Also killed with Uri was the entire crew of the tank: Benaya Rein, Adam Goren and Alexander Bonimovitch. After the end of the shiva, I went back to the book. Most of it was already written. What changed, more than anything else, was the resonance of the reality in which the final version was written."
The editor of the book, Prof. Menahem Perry, thinks that "Isha Borahat Mibesora" is the peak of Grossman's writing.
"We, myself included, have already wasted all the superlatives on other books," says Perry, "but this straight-talking novel has a rare humanity to it and especially, an ability to stir the readers' most human and most intense emotions."
According to Perry, most of Israel's wars are present in this book.
"The Six-Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the First Lebanon War and all the intifadas and operations in the territories. This book touches not only on the political reality in Israel, but also on the heart of our life here."
How is this book different from its predecessors?
"First, it has achieved something as far as the Hebrew; it takes the Hebrew vocabulary and shows to what extent Hebrew is a flexible language and how much beauty there is in it. As far as I'm concerned, the editing experience was mainly emotional; there wasn't much for me to do.
"Grossman knows how to write. He is a modest person and every time he finishes a book, he is never sure of its value, but it seems to me that with this book, he felt differently. He realizes what he has written."