Literature from Israel
S 2019


ISRAELI LITERATURE offers visions of human existence from a wide range of cultural perspectives.  We will trace early 20th century writing as the Zionist movement grew;  continuing with Israeli contemporary novels and concluding with a 2017 American Jewish writer’s novel placing American Jews in Israel.  Each story and novel explores self-definition and the question of what it means to be a human being.  

Weekly Topics

~Week 1. Introduce the subject of early Hebrew literature reading short stories “The Way Out” by Y.H. Brenner;  “Agunot” by S.Y. Agnon;  “The Prisoner” by S. Yizhar

~Week 2. Short stories continue with “The Times my Father Died” by Y.H. Brenner;  “Before His Time”, Amos Oz; “Facing the Forests”, A.B. Yehoshua

~Week 3. Introduce Amos Oz.  Read first half of “My Michael”

~Week 4. Finish “My Michael”

~Week 5  introduce A.B. Yehoshua.  Read the first half of “Mr. Mani”

~Week 6  Finish “Mr. Mani”

~Week 7  introduce David Grossman.  Read first quarter of “To the End of the Land”

~Week 8  Read second quarter of “To the End of the Land”

~Week 9  Read third quarter of “To the End of the Land”

~Week 10 Finish “To the End of the Land”

~Week 11 Intoduce Meir Shalev.  Read first half of “The Pigeon and a Boy”

~Week 12 Finish “The Pigeon and a Boy”

~Week 13 Introduce Nicole Krauss.  Read the first half of “Forest Dark”

~Week 14  Finish “Forest Dark”


Modern Hebrew Literature, ed. by Robert Alter, Behrman House, 1975

My Michael, Amos Oz, Knopf, 1972

Mr. Mani, A.B. Yehoshua, Doubleday, 1992

To the End of the Land, David Grossman, Vintage, 2008

The Pigeon and a Boy, Meir Shalev, Random House, 2007

Forest Dark, Nicole Krauss, HarperCollins, 2017