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House of Windows: Portraits from a Jerusalem Neighborhoodby Adina Hoffman
Synopses & Reviews
A brilliant and moving evocation of the rhythms of life (and the darker shadows below it) in a working-class quarter of the worlds most fascinating and divided city.
In the tradition of the literature of place perfected by such expatriate writers as M. F. K. Fisher and Isak Dinesen, Adina Hoffmans House of Windows compellingly evokes Jerusalem through the prism of the neighborhood where she has lived for eight years since moving from the United States. In a series of interlocking sketches and intimate portraits of the inhabitants of Musrara, a neighborhood on the border of the western (Jewish) and eastern (Arab) sides of the city-a Sephardic grocer, an aging civil servant, a Palestinian gardener, a nosy mother of ten-Hoffman constructs an intimate view of Jerusalem life that will be a revelation to American readers bombarded with politics and headlines. By focusing on the day-to-day pace of existence in this close-knit community, she provides a rich, precise, and refreshingly honest portrait of a city often reduced to cliche-and takes in the larger question of identity and exile that haunts Jews and Palestinians alike.
Book News Annotation:
A memoir of the author's time living in a small apartment in East Jerusalem. She befriended Jews, Palestinians, and various Western visitors in her eight years of residency. Her main concern is with daily life as it is lived in the streets of Jerusalem, but some politics inevitably creeps in, such as when she discusses Israeli efforts to lessen the Palestinian population in Jerusalem through "immigration" policies.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
An American woman and her husband move to Jerusalem and discover the many faces of community, exile, and history. By focusing on the day-to-day rhythms of her close-knit neighborhood, Hoffman offers a refreshingly honest portrait of a place that is often reduced to generalization and cliche.
About the Author
Adina Hoffman grew up in New Hampshire and Texas. She now lives in Jerusalem, where she is a film critic for The Jerusalem Post.
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History and Social Science » Middle East » General History