A Wall of Light (P.S.) by Edeet Ravel

By Edeet Ravel

A strong and unforgettable tale of secrets and techniques, kin, love, and future set opposed to the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian clash. Following at the heels of the significantly acclaimed 10000 fans (finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award) and search for Me, A Wall of sunshine tells the tale of 3 generations of a Tel Aviv relatives. Meet Anna, whose passionate letters to a lover she left in the back of in Russia describe the stories of Israel's postwar immigrants; her grandson, Noah, who in his diary records his doubtful sexual identification and his idealism within the face of the annoying political weather; and at last, Anna's daughter, Sonya, who takes us via one momentous day in August, an afternoon on which she "kissed a scholar, pursued a lover, stumbled on her father, and left her brother."

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At school everyone is for the war—get rid of the PLO, smash them to bits, show them we won’t give in, get rid of terrorism once and for all. But anyone can see (as Mom says) that this isn’t going to solve the Palestinian problem. But what will solve it? I don’t know. The PLO really do seem pretty evil. I don’t like that Arafat, he really scares me. He never shaves. Oren has started shaving. Dad says he didn’t shave till eighteen! But I don’t think I take after him. He’s into music and science and cooking and all that stuff.

But she did want us to contemplate death—and life—and I felt that the exposure of her body was a re­ flection of her desire to probe our pitiful coordinates as relentlessly as possible. But Nava left for a sabbatical in Holland before I began my doc­ toral dissertation, and she confided in me that she might not be back when the year was up. She’d had enough, she said, and yearned for some peace. There was no point in staying at Beersheba after she left, and I enrolled in Tel Aviv University. I’d read one of Eli’s books, Presumption, Progeny and Power, and I liked its elegant arguments and subtle humor.

The local hummus (a chickpea spread) is another inexpensive item, and it’s quite tasty once you get used to it. In fact, it’s addictive. Falafel is a wonderful local food that is affordable and tasty. It’s made of ground chickpeas dipped in boil­ ing oil, and you can buy it on the street. Kostya is very fond of cold borscht, which is made a little differently here. It’s common to eat salad for breakfast in this country. The main meal is shortly after noon, when people come home to rest. Remember I told you about the siesta from two to four?

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