With Edges, Leora Skolkin-Smith earns her place among the most gifted of contemporary American authors. The novel is a reminder that works of fiction can offer the depth, color, texture, passion of a fine painting and a great symphony. This is more than a coming-of-age story; it is a powerful and beautifully wrought account of passion and hopefor a girl and for a country.
New York City (PRWEB) July 29, 2008
Edges O Israel O Palestine, by Leora Skolkin-Smith, has been awarded the prestigious "Earphones Award" from AudioFile Magazine.
Leora Skolkin-Smith, Read by Tovah Feldshuh • Unabridged •
Midsummer Sound Company
When Liana Bialik's mother takes her from the predictable confines of Westchester County, New York, to Israel in the middle of the 1960s' conflicts, Liana's worldview and her sense of self are transformed. Heat; dust; the mingled scents of food, flowers, people, spice markets; simmering tensions between Israelis and Palestinians; and in the middle, a 14-year-old on the cusp of womanhood. Leora Skolkin-Smith has written a passionate, richly atmospheric novel whose intimacy reads like a memoir. Tovah Feldshuh narrates with such authenticity that listeners may be moved to talk back to the book. The mother's longing for the Palestine of old; Liana's edgy girl-woman voice; the mistrustful bargaining of a Palestinian shopkeeper. It's all here, and it's terrific. A.C.S. ••• © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine
Edges was first published in 2005, by Glad Day Books, a publishing house, founded by Grace Paley and her husband Robert Nichols.
Edges is a coming of age story about an adolescent girl visiting her maternal relatives in the Jerusalem of 1963.
"Edges (is) about the adventures of an adolescent girl in Israel in the early 1960s. Her character's mother had grown up in British Mandate Palestine, one of several factors making the memory bank of this book so rich - appropriate for a place with almost too much history to bear and retain one's sanity at the same time... Perhaps above all, the novel, told with restraint and poetic precision, is about how we shoulder on (and wing it) under the weight of history, family and public."
-- Robert Whitcomb, critic for the Providence Journal.
"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 storytelling 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 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Mambo King Sings Songs of Love
"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
"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, Reviewer, Boston Globe, People Magazine, author of "Girls in Trouble"
"With Edges, Leora Skolkin-Smith earns her place among the most gifted of contemporary American authors. The novel is a reminder that works of fiction can offer the depth, color, texture, passion of a fine painting and a great symphony. This is more than a coming-of-age story; it is a powerful and beautifully wrought account of passion and hopefor a girl and for a country."
--Victoria Zackheim, Author, "The Boneweaver" Editor, Anthology "The Other Woman", "For Keeps"
"A feverish, sensual, remarkable book."
--Meredith Sue Willis
Edges was nominated for the 2006 PEN/Faulkner 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.
You can enjoy listening to Tovah Feldshuh, accomplished actress of stage and screen, bring Edges, to life in an audiobook produced by Midsummer Sound Company -- a new audio publisher dedicated to the production and promotion of the spoken word and audio arts.
A recipient of numerous awards, Tovah starred in Golda's Balcony, which became the longest running one woman show in the history of Broadway, in October of 2004. She also appears in soon to be released films Mount of Olives and O Jerusalem.
Edges was directed by three-time Grammy nominated and multi Audie award winner Charles Potter. Edges was produced by Peabody Award winner Marjorie Van Halteren -- who for ten years produced WNYC's The Radio Stage and was the original producer of Selected Shorts at Symphony Space in New York City.