Come Back for Me
Loss, trauma, memory, and, above all, the ties of family are the elements that weave together this panoramic story. Artur Mandelkorn is a young Hungarian Holocaust survivor on a desperate quest to find his beloved sister, Manya. Intersecting Artur’s tale is that of Suzy Kohn, a Toronto teenager whose seemingly tranquil life is shattered by her uncle’s sudden death. Their stories come together in Israel following the Six-Day War, as the narrative travels through time and place to bring us, ultimately, to the connections between generations. Like Sarah’s Key, Sharon Hart-Green’s debut novel, Come Back for Me, deals evocatively with the scars left by tragedy and the possibilities for healing.
Bridging the Divide
Raised in a Ladino-speaking family of Bulgarian Jewish immigrants, Pinhas-
Cohen fuses the ancient Sephardic chant of her childhood with the contemporary
rhythm of Israeli life. This singular talent for bridging the ancient and the
modern sets her apart from most other Hebrew poets of her generation. Secular
in style and spirit, yet rooted in the life cycle of religious Judaism, Pinhas-
Cohen’s poems portray everyday life in modern Israel through a sacred yet
personal language. Awarded the coveted Prime Minister’s Prize for her poetry,
Pinhas-Cohen is a poet whose verse in English translation is long overdue. This
bilingual collection offers readers a careful selection of poems from each of her
seven published volumes. Hart-Green has worked closely with the poet herself
on these translations, several of which have appeared in journals such as the
Jewish Quarterly and the Toronto Journal of Jewish Thought. Her lively translations
display the dazzling breadth and depth of Pinhas-Cohen’s oeuvre, making
Bridging the Divide not only the first but the definitive English-language edition
of this vital Hebrew poet’s work.
Not a Simple Story
Not a Simple Story presents the modern Hebrew writer Shmuel Yosef Agnon in a new light―as an artist cum thinker whose novels and short stories manifest a deep understanding of the social and political crisis at the heart of modern Jewish life. Based on a close reading of Agnon's seminal novel A Simple Story, the book argues that Agnon was essentially a Jewish nationalist and secular modernist whose critical portrait of modern Jewish life seeks not to demean Jews but to hold them to a higher standard. By demonstrating all that Jewish society lacks, Agnon implicitly shows what it needs for it to thrive―a return to such lost notions as Jewish self-respect, heroism, and romantic love. Sharon Green's scholarly critique of this modern Hebrew classic offers students of Jewish studies a unique opportunity to penetrate the literary enigma Agnon has represented for almost a century.