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Synopsis

Death of a Holy Land: Reflections in Contemporary Israeli Fiction, by Rose Levinson, uses the work of four contemporary Israeli authors as a lens into present-day Israel. Discussing the novels of Orly Castel-Bloom, Michal Govrin, Zeruya Shalev, and Yoram Kaniuk, the book argues for a new understanding of today’s Israel. Crucial to renewed awareness is a view of the country that jettisons the notion of Israel as an exceptional, sacred state immune from 21st century discontents. Attention is focused on ways in which many of Israel’s most pressing problems are linked to long-standing issues of Jewish identity. Continual reference to the novels gives weight and substance to Death of a Holy Land’s underlying insistence on the need for a critical view of Israel as a country deeply ill-at-ease with itself.

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