For the Sake of the Homeland: Nava Semel’s “Paper Bride”

Bnei Brak in the 1930s

Author and playwright Nava Semel passed away in December 2017. Her novel “Paper Bride” paints a vivid portrait of British Palestine in the 1930s, seen through the eyes of an illiterate boy.


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Here is an excerpt from the novel:

And so, dear children, we repeat the question. What does your family do for the homeland? Herzl Fleisher stood up first, followed by other pupils, all of them describing how their fathers or their uncles or other people they knew were active in the defense of Jews in Palestine or had devoted their lives to building the country. But I hadn’t lied. My big brother Imri really did go to Poland to get married for the homeland.

Paper Bride by Naveal Semel. Translated by Sondra Silverston. Hybrid Publishers, 2012.

Previous podcast:
And The Rat Laughed: Remembering Writer Nava Semel

שלמה ארצי – באיזשהו מקום

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