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JBC Bookshelf: War and Extremism in Fiction

Thursday, October 25, 2012| Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

We've begun to notice a pattern in the newest fiction titles to cross our desk: the theme of war and extremism. Each of the following works of fiction explore the realities of war, resistance, dictatorship, and extremism across the globe and time. They present the philosophical and physical struggles of individuals caught up in conflict throughout different points in history. Written over the past hundred years, the trend begs the question: Will we ever learn? 

Judith: A Novel, Lawrence Durrell (November 2012, Open Road Media)

Released one hundred years after the author's birth, Judith is set in Palestine in the 1940s on the eve of Britain's withdrawal. Find out more about Durrell here

Ignorance: A NovelMichèle Roberts (January 2013, Bloomsbury USA)
Roberts, who was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, tells the story of two women in wartime France, as they struggle with guilt, faith, and desire. 

The Zelmenyaners: A Family Saga, Moyshe Kulbak; Hillel Halkin, trans. (January 2013, Yale University Press)
Written in Yiddish between 1929 and 1935, Kulbak tells the story of a Jewish family in Minsk as they cope with the new Soviet reality. This title is a part of Yale University Press's New Yiddish Library Series.

The Fall of the Stone City, Ismail Kadare (February 2013, Grove Press)
Set in Albania in 1943, Gjirokastër is the first town in the warpath of Nazi troops invading Albania. Intermingling Balkan legend with recent Albania history, Kadare tells a tale of dictatorship, resistance, and magic. 

The Wanting: A Novel, Michael Lavigne (February 2013, Schocken Books)
The long-awaited second novel from Sami Rohr Prize Choice Award recipient Michael Lavigne. Michael's new novel follows Roman Guttman, a Russian-born postmodern architect who is injured in a bus bombing, as he journeys into Palestinian territory. Roman's story alternates with the diary of his thirteen-year-old daughter, Anyusha, and is enriched by flashbacks of Anyusha's mother's life, a famous Russian refusenik who died for her beliefs.  





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