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Picnic Grounds: A Novel in Fragments

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Picnic Grounds: A Novel in Fragments Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Part reportage, part parable, part excavation of history, this jigsaw puzzle of compelling tales constitutes an exile’s nostalgic tour into Israel’s culture of denial. Captivating in its beguiling, seeming simplicity, Picnic Grounds is a novel built from the layers of overlapping lives and stories, much like the villages and cities of Israel are constructed from a culture superimposed over the palimpsest of history. Landscape, language, and the manufacture of knowledge are deconstructed by a unique new voice, writing in a language that is not quite English, from a life that is anything but post-colonial.

Oz Shelach was born in West Jerusalem in 1968 and has been a journalist and editor for Israeli radio and magazines. He currently lives in New York.

Review:

"Shelach's prose has an elegant precision borne of his journalistic activities.... [his] ironic understatement provides an eloquent indictment of the ongoing situation in Palestine." ­ San Francisco Bay Guardian

Review:

"Picnic Grounds is a forceful debut whose fragmentary form lends it the feel of a scrapbook ­ Kodak moments from a society with its guard down and its righteousness momentarily disabled." ­ Philip Herter, St. Petersburg Times

Review:

"Oz Shelach has managed, by pinpointing minutes, to evoke hours, days, years, a whole history. The very pauses in his extraordinary novel are filled with more width of understanding, more depth of compassion than would be possible in a book many times its length." David Plante

Review:

"Taking responsibility for the destruction of Palestine is a pill still far too bitter for most Israelis to swallow. Stepping outside of home and Hebrew, Oz Shelach takes us on an eerie journey through the archaeology of complicity and denial. Deeply personal, Picnic Grounds is also a profoundly political document that forces us to confront, as James Baldwin put it, 'the price of the ticket,' the heavy debt a state can exact from its people." Ammiel Alcalay

Review:

"There's something so captivating about these 'fragments,' about their beguiling simplicity, about the things they so eloquently withhold, something so pure and unpretentiously fresh. Oz Shelach, in the first person plural, is probably the most relentlessly restrained cartographer of the current Israeli scene, and this novel is the most intricately subtle commentary on that unsettled scene that I've read in years. A stunning literary achievement." Anton Shammas

Synopsis:

Spare and haunting, whimsical and contemplative snapshot-stories that reveal an unfamiliar Israel by remapping its blind spots.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780872864191
Author:
Shelach, Oz
Publisher:
City Lights Books
Location:
San Francisco
Subject:
General
Subject:
Israel
Subject:
Jewish fiction.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
107-241
Publication Date:
April 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
112
Dimensions:
7 x 4.5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Jewish
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Middle East

Picnic Grounds: A Novel in Fragments New Trade Paper
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Product details 112 pages City Lights Publishers - English 9780872864191 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Shelach's prose has an elegant precision borne of his journalistic activities.... [his] ironic understatement provides an eloquent indictment of the ongoing situation in Palestine." ­
"Review" by , "Picnic Grounds is a forceful debut whose fragmentary form lends it the feel of a scrapbook ­ Kodak moments from a society with its guard down and its righteousness momentarily disabled." ­
"Review" by , "Oz Shelach has managed, by pinpointing minutes, to evoke hours, days, years, a whole history. The very pauses in his extraordinary novel are filled with more width of understanding, more depth of compassion than would be possible in a book many times its length."
"Review" by , "Taking responsibility for the destruction of Palestine is a pill still far too bitter for most Israelis to swallow. Stepping outside of home and Hebrew, Oz Shelach takes us on an eerie journey through the archaeology of complicity and denial. Deeply personal, Picnic Grounds is also a profoundly political document that forces us to confront, as James Baldwin put it, 'the price of the ticket,' the heavy debt a state can exact from its people."
"Review" by , "There's something so captivating about these 'fragments,' about their beguiling simplicity, about the things they so eloquently withhold, something so pure and unpretentiously fresh. Oz Shelach, in the first person plural, is probably the most relentlessly restrained cartographer of the current Israeli scene, and this novel is the most intricately subtle commentary on that unsettled scene that I've read in years. A stunning literary achievement."
"Synopsis" by ,
Spare and haunting, whimsical and contemplative snapshot-stories that reveal an unfamiliar Israel by remapping its blind spots.
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