Published September 2010
Length 464 pages
ISBN 9781905559251 (ebook)
Translated from Hebrew by Stuart Schoffman
A husband and wife spend a week apart over the Hanukkah holiday: Daniela visits her recently widowed brother-in-law who has insisted on staying in Africa on an obscure archaeological dig. She wants to revive early memories of her sister with him but, in ways she cannot begin to understand, he has been left wounded and raging following an earlier tragedy – a death by friendly fire. Amotz Ya’ari stays behind in Israel, rushing between his elevator engineering company, his son’s family, his grandchildren and his father.
Life in the Ya’ari family is full, complicated and often humorous, but beyond it lies a fragile society deeply uneasy with itself and badly scarred, with each family harbouring its own ghosts. Ever-creative, A.B. Yehoshua’s short, interwoven chapters create a duet like narrative which penetrates deeply – too deeply for some – into human relationships. He taps into the psyche of the reader as he taps into the psyche of his country, and we emerge altered by what we have read.
About A.B. Yehoshua
Born in Jerusalem in 1936, A.B. Yehoshua is the author of eleven novels, a collection of short stories, plays and essays. One of Israel’s top novelists, he has won prizes worldwide and in 2005 was shortlisted in the UK for the first Man Booker International Prize. An outspoken critic of both Israeli and Palestinian policies, A.B. Yehoshua continues to speak and work for peace.
Ian McEwan celebrates A.B. Yehosua in his acceptance speech for the 2011 Jerusalem Prize:
'He singled out three celebrated Israeli authors – Amos Oz, AB Yehoshua and David Grossman – as "writers who love their country, and made sacrifices for it and have been troubled by the directions it has taken".
They had opposed the settlements, he said, and had become the country's "conscience, memory and above all hope".'
Quoted from The Guardian. Read their full report here.
Friendly Fire shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize