Page 124 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
forgotten that humanity and morality are still important ques­
tions and to warn of the future implied by the present.”3
For several years, Grossman earned his living as a lively, en­
tertaining, and insightful commentator on Israel Radio. When
he stepped down some four years ago, he already had a bu r­
geoning career as a Hebrew writer, having published a book
of short stories, two novels, and a series of magazine articles
on life in the West Bank that were to become a controversial
political book. Most recently, Grossman has published a play
and a third novel.4 Of his six books, the three that have ap­
peared in English,5
The Smile of the Lamb, See Under: Love,
and
The Yellow Wind
have earned him almost unanimous critical ac­
claim in the United States. When, for example, what is consid­
ered his literary masterpiece,
See Under: Love,
was published
in America in 1989, it was received by reviewers as “a major
Israeli novel,” “a dazzling work of the imagination,” and “a wor­
thy successor to works of similar mythic dimension by William
Faulkner, Gunter Grass, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.” What
distinguished tha t complicated and difficult novel was
Grossman’s innovative artistic imagination and his very Jewish
insistence that the arts of make-believe may be the most efficient
instrument of redemption available, on both a historical and
a personal scale.
FICTION IN
THE YELLOW WIND
Nowhere is Grossman’s
need
for fiction more prominently dis­
played than in his non-fiction, specifically in
The Yellow Wind,
3. David Grossman.
The Yellow Wind.
Trans, by Haim Watzman. New York:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1988. (Referred to in the body o f the text as
TYW
.) This quotation comes from the Introduction to the paperback edition
(Delta, 1989), pages un-numbered.
4. Grossman’s Hebrew works are published in Israel by Ha-Kibbutz Ha-
Me’uhad. They include:
Ratz (The Jogger,
stories), 1983;
Hiyukh Ha-Gedi
(The Smile o f the Lamb,
a novel), 1983;
Ayein Erekh: Ahava (See Under: Love,
a novel), 1986;
Ha-Zeman Ha-Tzahov (The Yellow Wind,
essays), 1987;
Gan
Riki (Riki’s Kindergarten,
a play), 1988; and
Sefer Ha-Dikduk Ha-Penimi (The
Book o f Interior Grammar,
a novel), 1991.
5. Grossman’s American publishers are Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Publica­
tion dates o f the novels, trans. by Betsy Rosenberg, are:
See Under: Love,
1989, and
The Smile o f the Lamb,
1990. (This last is referred to in the body
o f the text as
SOL.)