Apples from the Desert

By N, Stacy | Shofar, Summer 2002 | Go to article overview

Apples from the Desert


N, Stacy, Shofar


by Savyon Liebrecht. New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1998. 234 pp. $19.65.

Apples from the Desert is the first collection in English of short stories by one of Israel's most lyrical, penetrating, and measured women authors, Savyon Liebrecht. The volume is the fourth to appear in the Helen Rose Scheuer Jewish Women's Series, of the Feminist Press at the City University of New York. Comprising stories published in Hebrew between 1986 and 1992, this collection introduces Savyon Liebrecht to English readers as a writer who, finely translated, interweaves past and present times, and the coping efforts of Jewish and Arab individuals, families, and communities, in ways that invite repeated exploration of the intimate texture of contemporary life in Israel.

Savyon Liebrecht was born in Germany in 1948 to Holocaust survivors from Poland. She came to the newly established State of Israel as a young girl. The particular strength of this anthology is that it allows the first-or second-hand Holocaust memories of a number of Liebrecht's central characters to mingle with the personal resonances of the more current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as the reader moves through the stories and experiences the echo of those just finished.

Lily Rattok is a prominent scholar of Hebrew literature and a pioneer of Women's Studies in Israel. As she explains in her introduction to this volume, Savyon Liebrecht was raised in a household that remained tethered to her parents' memories of the Holocaust and to their past struggles for survival. The particular language of this formative home was silence, while visual exchange, through glances and meaningful looks, as well as facial expressions, enabled more substantive communication.

In 1982, European film critic Yvette Biró described "visual thinking" as the cinematographer's awareness that the human eye, both on and in society, "always compares."(1) "Seeing is the confrontation of perception and knowledge," per Biró, and in their varying realization of this, as if captured on film, Liebrecht's characters exhibit their private and socially driven fears and foibles in sharp relief. Rattok writes that, "Liebrecht tries to play the role of a healer, presenting possibilities for mending the rifts that threaten the existence of Israeli society". The author may appear to be such a mender with respect to the cross-cultural encounters she sets up. These include confrontations between young Israelis and their seemingly intractable Holocaust survivor relatives, and encounters between different generations of Israelis with distinct socio-historical perspectives. Liebrecht also portrays relations between more and less advantaged Ashkenazic and Sephardic Israeli Jews, between Jews and Arabs, and in each of the above categories, encounters among and between men and women.

However, once brought together, Liebrecht's various selves and Others develop through the eye of a realist. Liebrecht does not allow past trauma, of whatever magnitude, to beatify survivors in a modern, fast-paced Israel, nor new cross-cultural experiences, often registered in meaningful looks, to herald cure-all ententes. Even in the space of a short story, Liebrecht's elderly characters are fascinating because of their obsessions and their inescapable degrees of self-centeredness. In this way they are on par with the protagonists in the only full-length Israeli novel to focus on an interplay of indomitable personalities in a suburban old age home and in Tel Aviv: Yehoshua Kenaz's The Way to the Cats (1991). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Apples from the Desert
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.