Edges: O Israel, O Palestine
New York, NY (PRWEB) April 17, 2007
"Edges" by Leora Skolkin-Smith, Edited by Grace Paley will be at LA Times Festival of the Book. Book signings, April 29th, UCLA campus Booth 610 noon-1pm.
About the Book:
Edges" is set in a pre-1967 Israel, during the Cold War. Characters are drawn from Israel's long-forgotten past, members of the 1940's Haganah and Jewish underground who find themselves displaced amidst the chaotic and complex tensions of an Israel just beginning to modernize and expand.
"Edges" is a dark and penetrating look at pre-1967 Israel and Palestine through the eyes of a 14 year old Liana Bialik. After her American father's suicide, Liana's Jerusalem-born mother decides to take Liana and her sister back to her homeland, where her family had lived for four generations. Once they get to Israel Liana, who feels overwhelmed and suffocated by her mother, begins to detach herself from her. She embarks on a mission of self-discovery to learn why her mother does not speak about her father and why he took his own life. Edges is well-written, powerful in both imagery and subject matter..."
-Jewish Book World, Spring 2006
Vol. 24, Number 1
"In Edges Leora Smith skillfully tells the story of a girl of fourteen in the wake of her father's suicide, brought abruptly by her distraught mother from a comfortable suburban Westchester to the harsh terrain of a young State of Israel. The girl is caught in the maelstrom of political claims between Israel and a West Bank, still part of the Kingdom of Jordan. The turmoil both of the girl and her mother is graphically detailed as they struggle to define themselves in the light of a haunted past and present. The poetry of the girl's sexual awakening ripples through many pages, softening the fierce realities of the conflict between Arab and Jew. The pages evoke as well the memories of a shared land, and the mother's childhood growing up in an old Jerusalem before the city was separated by physical barriers, the religious, cultural, divide between Arab and Jew easier to bridge. The author's vivid sense of landscape, her gift for identifying with both mother and daughter, Arab and Jew, gives the novel a unique sense of balance and brings the reader, regardless of political conviction into sympathy with this portrait of a vanished Jerusalem."
-Mark Mirsky, FICTION
"Edges is an elegantly written, quite moving novel that has a lot to say about love, identity, history and the meaning of nationality. The book is worth reading alone for its superb language, but it is gripping and unforgettable as well in its story telling and evocation of place and emotions. It is a wonderful novel by an author with a quite accomplished voice and style, one well deserving a wide and receptive audience.
--Oscar Hijuelos, author of the Pulitzer-prize winning novel, "THE MAMBO KING SINGS SONGS OF LOVE"
"Edges is an elegant and moving novel. Leora Skolkin-Smith has that rare gift of the writer who can convey the sensibility -- the essence of a place and its people -- with precision and clarity. A provocative debut."
--Katharine Weber, book critic, author of TRIANGLE, LITTLE WOMEN, THE MUSIC LESSON
"Where, and how and to whom do we really belong? Skolkin's brilliant debut novel is a hypnotic meditation on the ever-changing boundaries of love and need. A coming of age story of the bond between a young American and her powerful mother, etched in a wartime Mideast as shifting and dangerous and mysterious as the Israeli desert."
--Caroline Leavitt, columnist, Boston Globe, author of GIRLS IN TROUBLE and COMING BACK TO ME
"EDGES" is a novel told with restraint and poetic precision...memorable (for the) the sense of place that Ms. Skolkin-Smith has achieved -- the sunny and scary Jerusalem and countryside -- and the hope, love, hate and fatalism of the groups, Palestinian and Israeli, living amongst and apart from each other..."
-- Robert Whitcomb , "The Providence Journal".
"A feverish, sensual, remarkable book."
--Meredith Sue Willis
About the Book:
Leora.Skolkin-Smith has received grants from The New York State Council on the Arts, The Department of Cultural affairs, The Millay Colony for the Arts, The Vermont Studio Center, and Art-Without-Walls. She was awarded a Teaching Fellowship for graduate work at Sarah Lawrence College where she holds a BA and MFA in writing. Recently awarded a PEN/Faulkner Writers-in-the Schools Award and Selected for the Miami International Book Festival, Ms. Skolkin-Smith's novel "Edges" is in its second printing. The novel was also picked by "The Bloomsbury Review's 25th Anniversary Issue" as a "Favorite Book of the Last 25 Years."
Honors and Awards:
EDGES was nominated for the 2006 PEN/Faulkner Award and The PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award by Grace Paley.
Awarded a Stipend from the Pen/Faulkner Foundation
A National Women Studies Association Conference Selection
"Bloomsbury Review" Pick, 2006: "Favorite Books of the Last 25 Years"
A Jewish Book Council Selection, 2005
Panelist, "Israel in Fiction" The Miami International Book Fair, 2066
Panelist, "War in Writing" , The Virginia Festival of the Book, 2006.
"Edges: O Israel, O Palestine" is also available at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1930180144/