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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

From an Israeli Novel

Last night I collected about a dozen new novels from a Craigslister for only $50. Woo Hoo! The two bags of books were a bunch she titled “Women’s Fiction,” although I’m not certain how she catagorized them that way. Of course, cause it is me, at least 1/3 of the book are about jews or by jews. Again and again with the jewish stories.

I’m in the thick of a translation of an Israeli novel. The cadence of the english is slowing me down, because it is the cadence of Hebrew. Or I think it is in the same cadence. Anyway, I’m loving it.

Last night Ronnie was giving me a hard time about my lack of familiar jewish knowledge. I told him I would probably always be a book jew. He was talking about family stuff, community stuff, dealing with neighbors–and how I just don’t understand the jewish way of doing certain things. I don’t. I know that. I won’t until I marry a nice jewish boy and suddenly look at him and say, “Why the fuck did you do that like that?”

This book is also a picture into Israel–or of a few people’s experiences of life in Israel. A yiddish poet, a jewish historian, a gentile german, their children, family, war, war, war, and literature. While I feel steeped in the book, I’m stunned at how slowly the reading is going. Again, I think it is the translation–the tempo of the sentences.

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