The story opens in
Jerusalem sometime during the "Second Intifada" (that began in September 2000 and
arguably has not yet ended). Our unnamed protagonist finds himself charged
with repatriating the body of a former low-level employee who has been killed
in a suicide bombing to an unnamed former
Soviet country, and thus starts a somewhat surreal journey which provides Yehoshua a stage on which to muse on big themes such as identity, family and
home, and our moral obligations to others.
I was thrown a little off kilter when first reading A Woman in Jerusalem,
firstly by the writing style that retained a certain "foreignness" in its
translation, but mostly because the title led me to believe that this would be a
novel about Jerusalem, whereas the city was incidental to the storyline. With a few changes here and there the story could have been located...
Beyond the Book
One of Israel's preeminent writers, the novelist, essayist and playwright Abraham B. Yehoshua (b. 1936)
has been awarded the Israel Prize, the Koret Jewish Book Award, and the National
Jewish Book Award. Born in Jerusalem, he lives in Haifa where he is a professor
of Literature. He studied Hebrew Literature and Philosophy at the Hebrew
University and has since taught at high school and university level. He also
taught in Paris while living there from 1963 to 1967. He is known publicly as A. B. Yehoshua, and familiarly as "Boolie".
When asked about his formative influences he names Franz Kafka, Shmuel Yosef Agnon,
and William Faulkner
Bibliography of Works Available in English
(dates are believed to be the first publication dates...