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Dearest Anne by Judith Katzir

Dearest Anne (2003)

by Judith Katzir

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This was an interesting novel about a young woman who has an affair with her literature teacher. The story is set in 1970s Carmel and various political and social issues In Israel crop up during the story. It is first person and includes the young girl's diaries where she fancied herself writing to Anne Frank - the ultimate diary keep for young Jewish girls of which I was one - as Kitty, the name Frank gave her diary.

The book was controversial in Israel, getting attacked by gay and lesbian critics because of the character of the older, perhaps 'predatory' lesbian and from conservatives because of the use of AF metaphor in a novel about a same-sex relationship. Can't quite get on board with either view - although I do think the ending is a little heavy handed.

The novel is almost a traditional bildingsroman or story of an artist as a young person. The way Rivi overlaps with Frank - the budding sexuality, the tension - was most interesting and in some ways, made Frank's death all the sadder . After all, who knows who Anne would have been had she been allowed to reach adulthood. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
This book was very eleuently written. I love how the author uses her words in a very poetic fashin. As the cover says it is about a young girl who has a romance with a teacher at the girl's middle school. I was uncomfortable throughout the book because at my current age of 24 I couldn't imagine falling in love with someone at the age of 14. I was hoping this uncomfortableness wouldn't be left unresolved and it wasn't. The author explored how those feelings were felt by the young girl as she grew up and described the different stages of her life through the glasses of the romance and her further encounters with her much older lover. ( )
  LoveIsInTheHouse | May 4, 2010 |
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The beginning, the worst of beginnings, is better than the best of endings -Shalom Aleichem, The Song of Songs

When I die
Passing into another nature,
The invisible Carmel
Which is all mine,
The core of happiness,
Whose pine needles, cones, flowers, and clouds
Are engraved in my flesh-
Will separate from the visible Carmel
With the avenue of pines that descend to the sea.
-Zelda, from The invisible Carmel
translated by Tova Weizman
First words
After it was over I walked down the dirt track leading from the new cemetery to the old cemetery, leaving behind my back the mountain with the low white houses of the village of Kababeer planted on its summit, huddled in the shade of the stone mosque with its chalky dome and two twin minarets.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 155861575X, Paperback)

“I read the book with wonder and emotion. The love between Michaela and Rivi is depicted precisely and delicately. . . . It’s beautiful.”—Amos Oz

“More than anything else, the book is a temple of love to the imaginary, and to literature as an option for deep and vigorous living.”—Ya’ara Muki, Time Out

Written by best-selling Israeli author Judith Katzir, Dearest Anne is a stirring record of an artist’s coming-of-age during the 1970s and the story of a hidden, erotic love affair between a teenaged girl and her married teacher, Michaela.

After reading Anne Frank’s diary, young Rivi starts a series of writing notebooks that document the angst of growing up in rural Israel. The entries reveal how her crush on her literature teacher develops into a poignant and turbulent love affair that lasts for years before its scandalous end.

Decades later, the grown Rivi, now a mother, wife, and established author, comes to terms with the forbidden love that shaped her future.

Judith Katzir was born in Haifa, Israel, in 1963. Her previous works include Inland Lighthouses, Closing the Sea (published under the name Yehudit Katzir), and Matisse Has the Sun in His Belly, for which she received the Book Publishers Association’s Platinum and Gold Book Prizes, the Prime Minister’s Prize, and the French WIZO Prize.

Dalya Bilu is a well-known translator of Hebrew literature. She has been awarded the Israel Culture and Education Ministry Prize for Translation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:54 -0400)

Explores an attachment between a teenager and her married teacher, Michaela, in the 1970's Isreal. She returns to attend Michaela's funeral decades later. Now a mother, wife and established author she decides to confront her adolescent self through diary entries addressed to Anne Frank.… (more)

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