A rising star of international letters, Zeruya Shalev takes us on a compelling narrative journey in the exquisite and unsettling Husband and Wife. Na'ama and Udi Newman have many of the trappings of an idyllic shared existence. A couple since they were schoolchildren, they have grown together like vines and settled into a routine of calm domesticity, along with their young daughter, Noga. But in a scene worthy of Kafka, the quiet rhythms of their family life suddenly screech to a halt whenUdi wakes up one morning to find that he is unable to move his legs. The doctors quickly set about searching for a physical explanation, but it soon becomes painfully clear that his paralysis is a symptom of something far less tangible, and far more insidious than any of them had imagined. This one morning sets in motion a series of events that reveals a vicious cycle of jealousy, paranoia, resentment, and accumulated injuries that now threaten to tear the small family apart. Shaleve brilliantlycaptures the vulnerability and deceptive comforts of lives intertwined in this deeply disturbing portrait of a diseased marriage.… (more)
On the first minute of the day, even before I knew whether it was hot or cold, good or bad, I saw the desert plain of the Arava, flat and desolate, growing pale bushes of dust, melancholy as abandoned tents.
...Daddy, she says in a steady, surprisingly mature voice, you remembered, I knew you would.