Synopses & Reviews
Mr. Mani is a deeply affecting six-generation family saga, extending from nineteenth century Greece and Poland to British-occupied Palestine to German-occupied Crete and ultimately to modern Israel. The narrative moves through time and is told in five conversations about the Mani family. It ends in Athens in 1848 with Avraham Mani's powerful tale about the death of his young son in Jerusalem. A profoundly human novel, rich in drama, irony, and wit.
"The Israeli writer's previous novels (A Late Divorce; Five Seasons ) were critically acclaimed in this country; here he offers another richly textured, provocative work. An account of six generations of the Manis, a Jewish family living in the Middle East, the book is arranged in the form of five 'conversations,' with the speech of only one of the two speakers present on the page. From 1982, the narrative moves backward to 1848, tracing dark domestic dramas occurring against the backdrop of historical events. Speakers — each with a strong, distinctive voice — include a contemporary Israeli woman, a Nazi soldier stationed in Crete during WW II, a British Jewish soldier in Palestine after WW I, a Jewish doctor in Galicia and a Jewish merchant in Athens. Spinning a cat's cradle of complex relationships, Yehoshua reaches beyond realism to the realms of mystery, coincidence and fate. His prose is simple and clear, rising to passages of lyricism and eloquence, as he gradually discloses the tragedy that haunts every generation of the Mani family: a succession of self-destructive, suicidal men and of fathers who die young, leaving emotionally needy children. Hints of a dread secret accrete through the narrative, to be revealed at the close. Yet the novel's message speaks to the indomitable spirit that keeps families alive.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc." Publishers Weekly
"[A]s he goes back in time, Yehoshua has been able to shift tone and style so that we are literally transported, stage by stage, along the picaresque and dazzling pilgrimage of the Mani generations toward Jerusalem." L.A. Times
"Mr. Mani doesn't adopt the sometimes narrow view of much recent Israeli literature, whose characters often seem to reflect only the growing Zionist disillusionment of the secular, educated classes. Instead, it takes on serious issues of Judaism, understanding it as more than a trial run for Zionism. Mr. Mani shows why Yehoshua is not just one of the foremost Israeli writers but one of the foremost Jewish writers in Israel." Chicago Tribune
A six-generation family saga, extending from nineteenth-century Europe to British-occupied Palestine to German-occupied Crete and ultimately to modern Israel. Named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, chosen as one of the 50 Best Books of 1992 by Publishers Weekly, awarded the National Jewish Book Award and the first Israeli Literature Prize. Translated by Hillel Halkin.
About the Author
A. B. YEHOSHUA is the author of numerous novels, including Mr. Mani, Five Seasons, The Liberated Bride, and A Woman in Jerusalem. His work has been translated into twenty-eight languages, and he has received many awards worldwide, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Jewish Book Award. He lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.