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The Liberated Bride by A. B. Yehoshua
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The Liberated Bride (original 2001; edition 2004)

by A. B. Yehoshua

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231350,068 (3.52)25
Member:SqueakyChu
Title:The Liberated Bride
Authors:A. B. Yehoshua
Info:Harvest Books (2004), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:Israeli fiction

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The Liberated Bride by A. B. Yehoshua (2001)

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I have to agree in some ways with labfs39's review. I'm not sure I saw the point of the book. I only finished it because it was given to me by someone whom I am currently head over heels about and I wanted to see what it said about her and our relationship. I saw it through to the end but have no answer to those questions.

I disliked the main character from very early in the book - he reminded me of some of the things I most dislike about myself. So I was irritated rather than interested in his progress (or lack of it) through the book. There was a sense of secrets to be uncovered and sexual longings that would unfold; so I expected something more interesting to happen. But it didn't. In the end I felt like I had spent many hours of my life sitting through an Israeli soap opera. It said little to me about the human condition. The elements about the nature of Orientalism and colliding with post-modern social theory could have been interesting, but were too thin. Only the discussion of Arab poetry raised this above the norm for me.

The translation and editing also concerned me a little.

For example, on page 229: "The soft autonomous Palestinian moon vanishes in nebulous folds". (Best read in context of course) As ever, one doesn't know how much of that is the original and how much the translation. But the first five words of that sentence are so well chosen they made me squirm in my seat, the last four read like a fourteen year old poet. and made me squirm with embarrassment. And the use of words such an "hence" In dialogue?

There are also a few clumsy edits. For example on page 417 Hagit refers to a previous encounter with the post-modernist, that didn't happen, at least not in the book. And there are instances where the same para reappears, but seemingly not deliberately (I'm sorry - I've lost the page refs there and can't be bothered to go back and find them)

So, on balance ... no. I wouldn't recommend it. ( )
  anyotherbizniz | Jan 2, 2012 |
Wanted: Editor for 568 p. book. Must like minute by minute personal accounts and family drama. Action seekers need not apply.

I wanted to enjoy this book, but after 300 pages, I realized that would not happen in this lifetime. It took another lifetime to finish the book. Besides desperately needing to be edited, the story meanders for 500 pages and then tries to make the plot come together in the last couple of chapters. I started off thinking that Yochanan Rivlin, the main character, was charming, but after reading about his every move (including urination), thought (even the drivel), and action (usually inane) for several hundred pages, I was ready to strangle him and make this a murder mystery.

Yochanan is obsessed. His son, Ofer, was abruptly divorced five years ago, and neither son nor daughter-in-law will divulge why. Yochanan cannot let it go, and despite injunctions from his wife, his daughter-in-law’s family, and his son, he continues picking at it. When not busily pestering people about the divorce, Yochanan hangs around his office at Haifa University, unable to finish the book he is working on, and refusing to buckle down and write a paper for his elderly mentor’s jubilee publication. Although incapable of finishing his own writing, he refuses to give a recalcitrant Arab student her degree until he knows the intimate details of her life, family, and loves.

Yehoshua can write a good line and is insightful into the day to day interactions between Arabs and Jews. What I couldn’t seem to find in this book was a point. It was a struggle to finish, and I’m not sure why I pushed on. My recommendation: don’t bother with this one. ( )
2 vote labfs39 | Jul 2, 2011 |
Yehoshua convinced us in his novel that Jews and Palestinians interact and live in a quasi-harmony in Israel. The complexities of that relationship is set forth in warm, charming prose, as if I were listening to a reading at Selcted Shorts, albeit 500 pages longer. ( )
  cmeatto | Jan 5, 2009 |
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Had he known that on this evening, on the hill where the village held its celebrations, an evening suffused by the scent of a fig tree bent over the table like another, venerable guest, he would again be struck-but powerfully-by a sense of failure and missed opportunity, he might have more decisively made his excuses to Samaher, his annoyingly ambitious M.A. student, who, not content with sending him an invitation by mail and then repeating it to his face, had gone and chartered a minibus, after first urging the new department head to make sure the faculty attended her wedding.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156030160, Paperback)

Yochanan Rivlin, a professor at Haifa University, is a man of boundless and often naïve curiosity. His wife, Hagit, a district judge, is tolerant of almost everything but her husband's faults and prevarications. Frequent arguments aside, they are a well-adjusted couple with two grown sons.
When one of Rivlin's students-a young Arab bride from a village in the Galilee-is assigned to help with his research in recent Algerian history, a two-pronged mystery develops. As they probe the causes of the bloody Algerian civil war, Rivlin also becomes obsessed with his son's failed marriage.
Rivlin's search leads to a number of improbable escapades. In this comedy of manners, at once deeply serious and highly entertaining, Yehoshua brilliantly portrays characters from disparate sectors of Israeli life, united above all by a very human desire for, and fear of, the truth in politics and life.


(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:26 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Yochanan Rivlin, a professor of Near Eastern Studies at Haifa University, is equally determined to understand the causes of the Algerian civil war of the 1990s and the mystery of his son's divorce. His is a double search for truth, each involving a different bride - Samaher, his own research assistant, an ambitious Arab newlywed from a village in the Galilee, and Galya, who deserted his son in Jerusalem with no explanation. Against his wife's better judgment (Hagit is a judge by profession), he explores relationships at once personal and political - man and wife, father and son, teacher and pupil, Israeli and Arab."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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