Photo: Nati Shohat/FLASH90

On this episode, Marcela reads from Yair Assulin’s searing novel that tells the journey of a young Israeli soldier at the breaking point, unable to continue carrying out his military service, yet terrified of the consequences of leaving the army.

Born in 1986, Yair Assulin studied philosophy and history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The Drive is the first of two novels he has written and for which he won Israel’s Ministry of Culture Prize and the Sapir Prize for debut fiction. He has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for authors, writes a weekly column in the newspaper Haaretz and has been a visiting lecturer in Jewish Studies at Yale.

“Poignant … Assulin shines at depicting the soldier’s feelings of unease and the irreconcilable space between soldier and commander … This work on the fragility of the human spirit is touching.”

Publishers Weekly

Yair Assulin, The Drive. Translated by Jessica Cohen. New Vessel Press, 2020

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