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The Liberated Bride
Synopses & Reviews
Winner, Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger
An aging Israeli film director has been invited to the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela for a retrospective of his work. When Yair Moses and Ruth, his leading actress and longtime muse, settle into their hotel room, a painting over their bed triggers a distant memory in Moses from one of his early films: a scene that caused a rift with his brilliant but difficult screenwriter—who, as it happens, was once Ruths lover. Upon their return to Israel, Moses decides to travel to the south to look for his elusive former partner and propose a new collaboration. But the screenwriter demands a price for it that will have strange and lasting consequences.
A searching and original novel by one of the worlds most esteemed writers, The Retrospective is a meditation on mortality and intimacy, on the limits of memory and the struggle of artistic creation.
"[Q]uietly provocative and deeply important consideration of how the desire for liberation of various kinds is inescapable in human nature." Publishers Weekly
"A splendidly realized search for the causes of ruptures that rend families and nations: both timely and timeless." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] great read...by turns profoundly funny and simply profound — there's a deep understanding of interpersonal relationships regardless of geography. Strongly recommended." Library Journal
"Sometimes tender and generous, sometimes grotesque and calamitous — remains, somehow, hopeful." The New Yorker
"[B]rilliantly portrays character from separate sectors of Israeli life, united above all by a very human desire for, and fear of, the truth in politics and life." Cultural Affairs Department at the Embassy of Israel
"Yehoshua has a great talent for mixing operatic drama with political and religious rumination without falling into moralizing or absurdism." Matt King, San Francisco Chronicle
"The Liberated Bride is a magnificent, often comic, and humanely inexorable journey among Israel's Jews and their secret and denied sharers: its Arabs." Richard Eder, The New York Times Book Review
From the acclaimed author of A Woman in Jerusalem, a novel about a director, a screenwriter and an actress, old friends and colleagues who meet up for the first time in decades in Santiago de Compostela, and are forced to face the demons that undid them years before, and the ones haunting them now.
In this comedy of manners, at once deeply serious and highly entertaining, Yehoshua brilliantly portrays characters from disparate sectors of Israeli life, united above all by a very human desire for, and fear of, the truth in politics and life.
Yochanan Rivlin, a professor at Haifa University, is a man of boundless and often naïve curiosity. His wife, Hagit, a district judge, is tolerant of almost everything but her husband's faults and prevarications. Frequent arguments aside, they are a well-adjusted couple with two grown sons.
When one of Rivlin's students-a young Arab bride from a village in the Galilee-is assigned to help with his research in recent Algerian history, a two-pronged mystery develops. As they probe the causes of the bloody Algerian civil war, Rivlin also becomes obsessed with his son's failed marriage.
Rivlin's search leads to a number of improbable escapades. In this comedy of manners, at once deeply serious and highly entertaining, Yehoshua brilliantly portrays characters from disparate sectors of Israeli life, united above all by a very human desire for, and fear of, the truth in politics and life.
About the Author
Born in Jerusalem, A. B. Yehoshua is the widely acclaimed author of numerous novels, including Journey to the End of the Millenium, Mr. Mani, The Lover, and Open Heart. One of Israel's preeminent writers, he has been awarded the Israeli Prize, the Koret Jewish Book Award, and the National Jewish Book Award. He lives in Haifa.
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