Grossman, David

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Grossman, David

David Grossman, 1954–, Israeli writer and peace activist, b. Jerusalem. He is widely recognized as the finest novelist in the generation that followed Amos Oz and A. B. Yehoshua. The son of a Polish-born father and Israeli mother, he was an editor and radio broadcaster and served in the Israeli army; his son was killed (2006) while serving in the conflict with Hezbollah. Grossman's dissatisfaction with the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza resonates throughout his first novel, The Smile of the Lamb (1983, tr.1991, film 1986) and first nonfiction book, The Yellow Wind (1987, tr. 1988), which is based on interviews of Palestinians in the occupied territories and brought him international fame. His best-known novel is the four-part See Under: Love (1986, tr. 1989), a wildly inventive tale of the Holocaust. His other fiction includes The Book of Intimate Grammar (1991, tr. 1994, film 2010), The Zigzag Kid (1994, tr. 1997), Someone to Run With (2000, tr. 2004, film 2006), To the End of the Land (2008, tr. 2010), and A Horse Walks into a Bar (2014, tr. 2017, Man Booker International Prize), the life story of a fading stand-up comedian told through one night's disastrous performance. Falling Out of Time (2011, tr. 2014), an amalgam of poetry, prose, and drama, is a book of laments on the death of children. His collections of essays, Sleeping on a Wire (1992, tr. 1992), and journalism, Death as a Way of Life (2003, tr. 2003), explore Israeli-Arab relations and conflicts. Grossman has also written a play, novellas, children's books, a biblical exegesis, and song lyrics.

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