The World a Moment Later

Amir Gut­fre­und; Jes­si­ca Cohen, trans.

  • Review
By – January 10, 2012

Amir Gutre­und won the 2006 Sami Rohr Choice Award for his first trans­lat­ed nov­el, Our Holo­caust. His new nov­el The World a Moment Lat­er is at once chal­leng­ing, epic, and impor­tant. Span­ning over five decades, from the 1920’s to the 1970’s, this nov­el devi­ates from most Zion­ist lit­er­a­ture by shed­ding light on the over­looked pio­neers whose tri­umphs and strug­gles built the State of Israel. The sto­ry opens with Leon Abramowitz, a strand­ed jour­nal­ist in 1922 Pales­tine. Abramowitz’s son, Chaim, soon joins him in Eretz Israel and the young man quick­ly becomes assim­i­lat­ed in the busi­ness of the black mar­ket and even­tu­al­ly estab­lish­es his own estate built on the foun­da­tions of anti- Zion­ism. Gut­fre­und excels in his cre­ation of a wide cast of char­ac­ters whose paths cross because of the Abramowitz empire. His exten­sive research is evi­dent and enlight­en­ing; a char­ac­ter list and chronol­o­gy are includ­ed and very help­ful. Those already famil­iar with con­tem­po­rary Israeli his­to­ry will find it refresh­ing and orig­i­nal. Those unfa­mil­iar will find it an excel­lent start­ing point in answer­ing the eter­nal ques­tion, What are we doing here? Bib­li­og­ra­phy, chronol­o­gy, list of characters.

Discussion Questions