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A Woman in Jerusalem
by Abraham B. Yehoshua and Hillel Halkin

Overview - A woman in her forties is a victim of a suicide bombing at a Jerusalem market. Her body lies nameless in a hospital morgue. She had apparently worked as a cleaning woman at a bakery, but there is no record of her employment. When a Jerusalem daily accuses the bakery of "gross negligence and inhumanity toward an employee," the bakery's owner, overwhelmed by guilt, entrusts the task of identifying and burying the victim to a human resources man.  Read more...

 
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More About A Woman in Jerusalem by Abraham B. Yehoshua; Hillel Halkin
 
 
 
Overview
A woman in her forties is a victim of a suicide bombing at a Jerusalem market. Her body lies nameless in a hospital morgue. She had apparently worked as a cleaning woman at a bakery, but there is no record of her employment. When a Jerusalem daily accuses the bakery of "gross negligence and inhumanity toward an employee," the bakery's owner, overwhelmed by guilt, entrusts the task of identifying and burying the victim to a human resources man. This man is at first reluctant to take on the job, but as the facts of the woman's life take shape--she was an engineer from the former Soviet Union, a non-Jew on a religious pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and, judging by an early photograph, beautiful--he yields to feelings of regret, atonement, and even love. At once profoundly serious and highly entertaining, A. B. Yehoshua astonishes us with his masterly, often unexpected turns in the story and with his ability to get under the skin and into the soul of Israel today.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780156031943
  • ISBN-10: 0156031949
  • Publisher: Harvest Books
  • Publish Date: August 2007
  • Page Count: 237


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Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

A Woman in Jerusalem

This bold and captivating novel from one of Israel's leading writers is sure to resonate with readers. When a beautiful Eastern European named Yulia Ragayev is killed in a terrorist bombing in Israel, her body goes unclaimed in the morgue. Yulia worked for a Jerusalem bakery, and, in the end, her body was identified only thanks to the stub of her paycheck. Her story is soon in the news, as a local paper vilifies the bakery for its lack of concern over her death. The owner of the bakery, a wealthy 87-year-old man (he is unnamed, like everyone else in the novel except Yulia), is soon roused to action, enlisting his human resources manager to find out about Yulia's death and return her body to her homeland so that she can have a proper funeral. This quest leads the human resources manager to Eastern Europe and Yulia's birthplace, where, as it turns out, she had a son, an ex-husband and a mother. The reasons she came to Israel remain unclear, as does much else about Yulia. This astute novel has touches of the surreal that lift it out of the realm of the literal. Yet there is no mistaking its timeliness. Yehoshua writes from a global perspective, offering a profound narrative about the crossing of borders and cultures.

A reading group guide is available online at www.harcourtbooks.com.

 
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