Page 396 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
T
h e
A
r e t e
F
o u n d a t i o n
A
w a r d
The Rosendorf Quartet,
by Nathan Shaham, trans. by Dalya Bilu
(Grove Weidenfeld)
In
The Rosendorf Quartet,
Nathan Shaham has not only created
five extraordinary characters, but a multi-dimensional novel
that movingly dramatizes the complexities o f the human con­
dition. The book is about many things: the refugee experience
o f European Jewry, the diverse and paradoxical threads woven
into the tapestry o f the State o f Israel, art and artists, and the
choices made and prices paid for the creative experience. It
is itself a work o f art that is meaningful on both literal and
symbolic levels. Most o f all, however, Shaham describes human
beings caught up in the most perplexing and difficult situation
o f all — trying to give meaning to an existence which perpetually
threatens to undermine all attempts at surety and stability.
HOLOCAUST
T
h e
L
e o n
J
o l s o n
A
w a r d
Escaping the Holocaust: Illegal Immigration to the Land of Israel,
1939-1944,
by Dalia Ofer (Oxford University Press)
Escaping the Holocaust,
by Dalia Ofer is a well-documented ac­
count o f one o f the most heroic chapters in Jewish history dur­
ing the Second World War. It describes in objective and schol­
arly fashion the various rescue and immigration efforts orga­
nized by the
Yishuv
between the outbreak o f the war and the
establishment o f the State. The author portrays these efforts
in the context o f world politics, focusing on the struggles o f
the persecuted and their rescuers as well as on the motivations
and policies o f those bent on destroying them or denying them
a haven.
ISRAEL
T
h e
M
o r r i s
J.
a n d
B
e t t y
K
a p l u n
A
w a r d
The Road Not Taken: Early Arab-Israeli Negotiations,
by Itamar
Rabinovich (Oxford University Press)
The Road Not Taken
is a careful work o f scholarship on the
theme o f the failure o f attempted negotiations between Israel
F ICT ION