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Edges: O Israel, O Palestine


Edges: O Israel, O Palestine Cover

ISBN13: 9781930180147
ISBN10: 1930180144
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Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

rowhitcomb, July 28, 2007 (view all comments by rowhitcomb)

I'd like to tout Leora Skolkin-Smith's new novel, Edges: O Israel O Palestine It's about the adventures of an adolescent girl in Israel in the early '60s. Her character's mother had grown up in British Mandate Palestine, one of several factors making the memory bank of this book so rich -- appropriate for a place with almost too much history to bear and retain one's sanity at the same time.
What is most memorable to me is the sense of place that Ms. Skolkin-Smith has achieved -- the sunny and scary Jerusalem and countryside -- and the hope, love, hate and fatalism of the groups, Palestinian and Israeli, living amongst and apart from each other in a thin, rocky, brilliantly bright corridor too rarely shaded by old gray-green olive trees.
Perhaps above all, the novel, told with restraint and poetic precision, is about how we shoulder on (and wing it) under the weight of history -- family and public.
-Robert Whitcomb, The Providence Journal
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(7 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
Shelley Hunt, January 2, 2007 (view all comments by Shelley Hunt)
It took me only a few days to read Edges,this book blew me away. It is hypnotic, frightening--the feeling of danger never let up, not for a second. It is beautiful, visceral--I think of it and smell oranges and desert (I grew up in a desert), and oh--the author so nailed that terrible longing that I remember feeling at 14 or so. The scene in Palestine with the mother, all those shops, colors, smells--I was in heaven reading that, and scared to death at the same time.

To be able to write somebody like this mother, horrible and beautiful all at once, takes great talent. I also loved that it was smooth-- one second, or more than a second, then raw as hell the next. I think this is why the unexpected moments worked so well, why a Jewish mother, worried about safety, would suddenly drag her youngest daughter into a place that turns out to be not safe at all (those boys, after night fell, in Palestine), and why I bought, completely, Liana's taking off to find William, to find Paris, to find that something she longed for.

It's absolutely not perfect, but that's a good thing
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(10 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
nantes2rhyme, December 24, 2006 (view all comments by nantes2rhyme)
This beautiful work of literary prose telescopes a complex ambiance down into the smithy of a single soul. As a read it just glides through your hands, your eyes. A stunning debut.
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(5 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
jac1, December 19, 2006 (view all comments by jac1)
Leora Skolkin-Smith has given us the gift of a beautifully crafted novel set in a time and place of change and turmoil. Every scene pulled me further into the story and held me captive. The author is as much poet as novelist, with each lilting phrase somehow revealing an entire story. Tight writing, nothing wasted, the purest form of literature. I was sure that I knew where the story was headed...and I was wrong. Every page will surprise.
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(6 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
Sue O'Doherty, October 23, 2006 (view all comments by Sue O'Doherty)
Lyrical and evocative
Leora Skolkin-Smith is an important and highly gifted writer. In Edges,she demonstrates a Proustian command of the telling detail. I had forgotten the unique smell of the inside of the airplanes of my childhood. With great skill, she recalled this to me, along with the feel of the woods at night, and numerous other sensations that she evokes masterfully. I felt I was living in this book in an almost uncanny way.
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Product Details

Paley, Grace
Glad Day
Skolkin-Smith, Leora
Interpersonal Relations
Young women
Fiction - World History
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
8.08x5.66x.47 in. .58 lbs.

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Edges: O Israel, O Palestine New Trade Paper
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$19.25 In Stock
Product details 176 pages Glad Day Books - English 9781930180147 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Edges is an elegantly written, moving novel that has a lot to say about love, identity, history and the meaning of nationality. The book is worth reading alone for its superb language, but it is gripping and unforgettable as well in its story telling and evocation of place and emotions. It is a wonderful novel by an author with an accomplished voice and style, one well deserving a wide and receptive audience." Oscar Hijuelos, author of the Pulitzer-prize winning novel, The Mambo King Sings Songs of Love
"Review" by , "This is an intimate and compelling portrait of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary time and place. This first publication from Glad Day Books, Grace Paley's new imprint, is a promising debut."
"Review" by , "Ms. Skolkin-Smith's first novel is a captivating story giving the reader a view into a land and culture of another time...This slim novel has wonderful images and evocative writing. It is a novel about coming-of-age and about family and love. I imagine it is one that will stay with me for a long time."
"Review" by , "The poetry of the girl's sexual awakening ripples through many pages, softening the fierce realities of the conflict between Arab and Jew. The pages evoke as well the memories of a shared land, and the mother's childhood growing up in an old Jerusalem before the city was separated by physical barriers, the religious, cultural, divide between Arab and Jew easier to bridge. Edges is a powerful evocation of lost worlds which it is a joy to wander back into."
"Review" by , "Skolkin's brilliant debut novel is a hypnotic meditation on the ever-changing boundaries of love and need."
"Review" by , "Edges is an elegant and moving novel. A provocative debut."
"Review" by , "Skolkin-Smith, in clear, burnished prose, fuses personal and political rifts into an exhilirating debut novel." Philip Graham, Director, Creative Writing Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"Synopsis" by , Edges is a Jewish Book Council Selection published by Grace Paley's "Glad Day Books."
"Synopsis" by , Edges is set in a pre-1967 Israel, during the Cold War. Liana Barish is fourteen years old when the suicide of her American father forces her to return with her sister and mother to Jerusalem where her mother was born and grew up. Liana's family were once members of the 1940's Haganah and are now living among the complex tensions of Israel's modernization and expansion. Liana learns about her mother's childhood in the old city, her tragic uncle. With her young lover she lives in the Palestinian world beyond Jerusalem's border. She grows away from her intense relationship with her mother into a womanhood formed by the boundary-less spaces of a lost geography and people.
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