Publication Date: Oct 10, 2017
List Price US $16.95
Trim Size (H x W): 5.5 x 8.25
Set in a Tel Aviv apartment building, this best-selling Israeli novel examines a society in crisis, through the turmoils, secrets, unreliable confessions, and problematic decisions of the building’s residents.
On the first floor, Arnon, a tormented retired officer who fought in the First Intifada, confesses to an army friend how his obsession with his daughter’s safety led him to lose control and put his marriage in peril. Above Arnon lives Hani, known as “the widow.” Her husband travels the world for work while she stays at home with their two children, increasingly isolated and unstable. When her brother-in-law suddenly appears at their door begging her to hide him from loan sharks and the police, she agrees, in spite of the risk to her family, if only to bring some emotional excitement into her life. On the top floor lives a former judge, Devora. Retired and eager to start a new life, Devora joins a social movement, tries to reconnect with her estranged son, and falls in love with a man who isn’t what he seems.
A brilliant novelist, Eshkol Nevo vividly depicts the grinding effects of social and political ills played out in the psyche of these flawed, compelling characters, often in unexpected and explosive ways.
Excerpt from Three Floors Up
Maybe the difference is that in Hebron, I was responsible only for myself. And here I was responsible for my little girl. I knew I screwed up. It was so clear that I screwed up that Ayelet didn’t even waste time accusing me. The minute I got out of the car, she filled me in on the situation: the entire building was out searching, and there was also a police car on the way. They were combing our neighborhood. And the adjacent neighborhood too. I said, “I’ll kill him if he did something to her, I’ll just kill him.” Ayelet said, “We still don’t know what happened, maybe they just got lost.” But I saw in her eyes that she was also thinking about the kisses and the Hoppe, hoppe, Reiter. I asked if anyone was searching the citrus groves, and Ayelet said no, they hadn’t thought that far ahead. So I said, “I’ll go there and take my gun.”
“Why a gun?” she said.
“If he touched a hair on her head, that’s the end of him.”
When Ofri was in kindergarten, there was a kid there who harassed her. Saar Ashkenazi. She’d come home every day with stories. Saar Ashkenazi said this to her, Saar Ashkenazi did that to her. Ayelet spoke to the teacher, who said she hadn’t noticed anything special and that at that age, they still can’t always tell the difference between reality and imagination.
“[Neuland is] a fascinating novel, a combination of utopia and dystopia—but above all, it is a moving story about one family, about love and loss and loneliness.” —Amos Oz
“Eshkol Nevo is a brilliant literary chemist who succeeds in extracting from daily life’s most mundane events, the deepest crystallized essence of the contemporary Israeli psyche.” —Etgar Keret
“Eshkol Nevo writes beautifully, funnily, and wisely about men and women…Friendship, envy, love, misery, endurance—he captures the lot.” —Roddy Doyle