Literature from Israel


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

  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

  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

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

  4. Finish “My Michael”

  5. Introduce A.B. Yehoshua.  Read the first half of “Mr. Mani”

  6. Finish “Mr. Mani”

  7. Introduce David Grossman.  Read first quarter of “To the End of the Land”

  8. Read second quarter of “To the End of the Land”

  9. Read third quarter of “To the End of the Land”

  10. Finish “To the End of the Land”

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

  12. Finish “The Pigeon and a Boy”

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

  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