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An increasing number of Israeli novels explore the personal costs of the political divide between Jews and non-Jews in Israel. “About the Night” by Anat Talshir explores what happens to the relationship of a Christian Arab and an Israeli Jew when Jerusalem is portioned. It is a timely story of how hope can nourish us, loss can devastate us, and love can carry us beyond the boundaries that hold human beings apart.
Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the novel:
She said nothing, and neither did he. What was there to add after what he had said?
Even the machine hooked up to his heart silenced its beeping. It was as if all the
background noise — the bustling corridor, the heavy footfalls of the patients, the
squeaky wheels of the beds, the nurses’ voices — had been muted.
She sat facing him, her hands holding her arms, her fingers digging into his flesh.
When she rose too quickly from her chair to open a window, she felt a slight
dizziness, but the burst of cool air tempered it. She remained there, at the window,
awash in the fresh air and wishing to forget what she had heard.
About the Night by Anat Talshir. Translated by Evan Fallenberg. Amazon Crossing. June 2016.