Dol­ly City

Orly Cas­tel-Bloom; Dalya Bilu, trans.
  • Review
By – September 19, 2011

In this pow­er­ful satir­ic nov­el, Dol­ly, a young Israeli doc­tor, wan­ders through a night­mare metrop­o­lis with­out a base, with­out a past, with­out an infra­struc­ture. The most dement­ed city in the world.” On her back, she car­ries an aban­doned infant whom she claims as her son. Through Dol­ly, a bril­liant re-cre­ation of the famil­iar Jew­ish Moth­er arche­type, the over­lap­ping issues of moth­er­hood and nation­hood are exam­ined in vivid, often vis­cer­al­ly dis­turb­ing prose. The writ­ing is razor-sharp and occa­sion­al­ly hilar­i­ous. Cas­tel-Bloom employs her pow­er­ful humor to make palat­able the no-holds­barred hor­rors of dai­ly life in a per­pet­u­al war zone. 

Orly Cas­tel-Bloom was born in Tel Aviv in 1960 to French-speak­ing, Egypt­ian Jew­ish par­ents. A lead­ing voice in con­tem­po­rary Hebrew lit­er­a­ture, she is often cred­it­ed — along with Edgar Keret — with intro­duc­ing post­mod­ernism into Israeli prose. Cas­tel-Bloom is the author of thir­teen books. She has twice received the Israeli Prime Minister’s Prize. 

Dalya Bilu, the trans­la­tor, lives in Jerusalem. She has received a num­ber of awards for her work, includ­ing the Lon­don Jew­ish Book Council’s Award for Hebrew-Eng­lish Translation.

Judith Felsen­feld book of short fic­tion, Blaustein’s Kiss, was pub­lished in April, 2014. Her sto­ries have appeared in numer­ous mag­a­zines and lit­er­ary reviews, includ­ing The Chica­go Review, The South­west Review, Blue Mesa, and broad­cast nation­wide on NPR’s Select­ed Shorts.

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