Khir­bet Khizeh

S. Yizhar; Nicholas de Lange and Yaa­cob Deck, trans.
  • From the Publisher
March 1, 2017

It’s 1948 and the Arab vil­lagers of Khir­bet Khizeh are about to be vio­lent­ly expelled from their homes. A young Israeli sol­dier who is on duty that day finds him­self bat­tling on two fronts: with the vil­lagers and, ulti­mate­ly, with his own conscience.

Pub­lished just months after the found­ing of the state of Israel and the end of the 1948 war, the novel­la Khir­bet Khizeh was an imme­di­ate sen­sa­tion when it first appeared. Since then, the book has con­tin­ued to chal­lenge and dis­turb, even find­ing its way onto the school cur­ricu­lum in Israel. The var­i­ous debates it has prompt­ed would them­selves make Khir­bet Khizeh worth read­ing, but the novel­la is much more than a vital his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment: it is also a great work of art. Yizhar’s haunt­ing, lyri­cal style and charged view of the land­scape are in many ways as star­tling as his wrench­ing­ly hon­est view of mod­ern Israel’s pri­mal scene.

Con­sid­ered a mod­ern Hebrew mas­ter­piece, Khir­bet Khizeh is an extra­or­di­nary and heart­break­ing book that is des­tined to be a clas­sic of world literature.

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