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A Woman in Jerusalem by A. B. Yehoshua

A Woman in Jerusalem (original 2004; edition 2007)

by A. B. Yehoshua, Hillel Halkin (Translator)

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358None30,220 (3.41)47
Title:A Woman in Jerusalem
Authors:A. B. Yehoshua
Other authors:Hillel Halkin (Translator)
Info:Mariner Books (2007), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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A Woman in Jerusalem by A. B. Yehoshua (2004)


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English (14)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I read this a second time for book group and of course found it clearer. I also was much more aware of the metaphors, but still am not sure of the overall metaphor. The book tells us a lot about humanity without being didactic. ( )
  suesbooks | Sep 26, 2013 |
I read this book many years ago as a young woman and loved it. Now many years later, it still is a wonderful story of a young girl growing up surrounded by poverty but maintaining an innocence of heart. There is not one ounce of cynicism in Francie's entire body; something that is rare today.

I read many of the negative reviews from young people who have been required to read the book. It is so difficult for them to get past the differences of today's age and then; however, hopefully some will have inspiring teachers who will be able to get them through the details enough in order to see the universal story of perseverance and strength of family.

This book is not a page turner, has dated dialogue and writing style, and is probably not for everyone. However, it is a warm, pleasant, inspiring read that should at least be tasted. ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 17, 2013 |
Brilliant treatment of a man on a mission to find out who the victim of a suicide bomber really is. Brings a modern sensibility to a classic topic: what becomes of the nameless lost to senseless war? ( )
  paakre | Apr 27, 2013 |
This is a thought-provoking book that will probably keep me thinking about it long after this reading. A woman was killed in a terrorist bombing incident in Jerusalem. The only clue to her identity is a pay stub, bearing her payroll ID number instead of her name. When the employers didn't come looking for her, a reporter came looking for them. They discovered that although she was still on payroll. The bakery's owner has the human resources manager investigate and then take care of handling details with the victim's family to try to avoid additional negative press. The plot takes interesting turns along the way. One of the most intriguing things about the novel is that the victim is about the only person with a name. Normally this would be confusing to a reader, but I never confused characters as I was reading. A very unusual and intriguing book! ( )
2 vote thornton37814 | Jan 21, 2013 |
I seem to have liked this book much, much more than its other reviewers. What struck me most was the narrative of this story. It was so tight and telling about one particular situation. The flow of the story was missing no details (except for the names of the characters, but that only made the story much more creative and its telling much more difficult). It was so well directed.

A lapse by a (nameless) human resources manager in a large baking operation was named by a newspaper article as the reason for the death of a middle age woman in a terrorist bombing in the city of Jerusalem, Israel. The (nameless) owner of this company wants a no-holds-barred effort made to absolve his company of any wrong-doing and appoints the human resources manager to be in charge of this. How he goes about doing this is the story of his efforts to bring Yulia Ragayev (our deceased woman) to her final resting place.

I thought this story was brilliant. It is not about Israel or about Jerusalem, yet it is because we hear thoughts about the country and the city subtly spoken by many of the characters. Funny in places (not the laugh-out-loud kind, but the absurd kind), this story was a delight to read - especially the ending.

This is the kind of story in which the reader has to just suspend his disbelief in what happens and play along with the author. Enjoy the characters and the trip (which is a long one!). You will be justly rewarded. ( )
2 vote SqueakyChu | Dec 15, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
The enormous weight of Jerusalem as metaphor is everywhere in Yehoshua’s fiction; and can be found again, and powerfully, in his remarkable new book, “A Woman in Jerusalem.”

This novel has about it the force and deceptive simplicity of a masterpiece: terse (or relatively so, given that Yehoshua’s novels are often long), eminently readable but resonantly dense.

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
A. B. Yehoshuaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Halkin, HillelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shomroni, AlessandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the memory of our friend Dafna who was killed in a terrorist attack on Mount Scopus in the summer of 2002.
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Even though the manager of the human resources division had not sought such a mission, now, in the softly radiant morning, he grasped its unexpected significance.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156031949, Paperback)

A woman in her forties is a victim of a suicide bombing at a Jerusalem market. Her body lies nameless in a hospital morgue. She had apparently worked as a cleaning woman at a bakery, but there is no record of her employment. When a Jerusalem daily accuses the bakery of "gross negligence and inhumanity toward an employee," the bakery’s owner, overwhelmed by guilt, entrusts the task of identifying and burying the victim to a human resources man. This man is at first reluctant to take on the job, but as the facts of the woman’s life take shape—she was an engineer from the former Soviet Union, a non-Jew on a religious pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and, judging by an early photograph, beautiful—he yields to feelings of regret, atonement, and even love.

At once profoundly serious and highly entertaining, A. B. Yehoshua astonishes us with his masterly, often unexpected turns in the story and with his ability to get under the skin and into the soul of Israel today.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:19 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Assigned the difficult task of identifying the victim of a suicide bombing at a Jerusalem market, a human resources representative pieces together the woman's past as a former Soviet engineer and a non-Jewish person on a religious pilgrimage.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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