In Tel-Aviv about ten years ago Orit, a girl soldier in Zahal's education corps gets a double assignment: to write a brochure on Israeli Identity, and help in the assimilation of a fellow military educationalist, a lonely immigrant from Canada. A quest for love and self-knowledge that makes for an inventive, witty, and rhyming take on Pushkin's Yevgeni Onegin. A bit like Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate, it is totally Israeli and absolutely absorbing, asking tough questions in an engagingly light way.
Maya Arad was born in Israel (1971) and grew up in Kibbutz Nahal-Oz. She graduated in Classics and Linguistics at the Tel Aviv University and has a Ph.D. in Linguistics from London University. She taught at Stanford University.
Her first book Another Place, a Foreign City, a novel in rhymes, also published by Xargol, won the Ministry of Education and Culture award and in 2005 was Shortlisted for the Sapir prize (the Israeli Booker). In 2006 it was performed as a play at the Cameri Theater.
After having examined the funnier and less glamorous aspects of academic life in the critically acclaimed best seller Seven Moral Failings (2006), she published in 2008 a collection of three novellas, Family Pictures, examining family life.
"Not only a work of linguistic virtuosity, but a novel that has a plot, characters and a live and clear real world. Moreover, it touches in a painful and original way the roots of the Israeli identity."
A. B. Yehoshua
"A brilliant and profound novel."
"Wonderful, witty and full of humour."