David Grossman is my favourite Israeli writer and this very intensive and stirring novel, Until the End of the Land, which I am currently reading, is his best book to date. It has not yet been translated into English. A German translation, Eine Frau flieht vor einer Nachricht, is due out any day and can already be ordered at Amazon HERE
It is the story of a woman, two men and the woman’s two sons. The woman, whose one son is about to leave for a major military operation, cannot cope with waiting for possible bad news. She will not be at home and the bearers of bad news will not be able to deliver the message she dreads. She runs away. Wandering through the Galilee with one of the two men in her life, she hopes to protect her son by talking about him and about his life. No Short description can do this emotionally wrenching novel justice.
I am reading the book at a friend’s house in Germany. In the background, I can hear the chatting of the youngsters, young twenty-somethings, the kids of my hosts. I cannot avoid thinking how worlds-apart life in Israel is from that of these young Germans. Nobody is trying to kill them. Nobody is trying to destroy their country. Nobody has ever tried to annihilate their people.
Can others understand this at all?