Twen­ty Girls to Envy Me: Select­ed Poems of Orit Gidali

Orit Gidali; Marcela Suak, trans.
  • From the Publisher
December 10, 2015

This Eng­lish-Hebrew book fea­tures three dozen poems by the extra­or­di­nary Israeli writer Orit Gidali (b. 1972), a unique voice among her con­tem­po­raries. Gidal­i’s work appears to focus on the domes­tic, but for her, the domes­tic sphere is the stage on which the dra­ma of the geopo­lit­i­cal is reworked on an indi­vid­ual scale. The domes­tic is always inhab­it­ed by the Oth­er, who in these deeply per­son­al poems appears in var­i­ous guis­es: a Pales­tin­ian moth­er, bib­li­cal fig­ures, the poet­’s own deceased moth­er, and her hus­band’s first wife. Gidali cre­ates a space in her world to imag­i­na­tive­ly recon­fig­ure the cur­rent polit­i­cal impass­es of the region through a focus on rela­tion­ship and openness.

Gidal­i’s poems, beau­ti­ful­ly cap­tured in Eng­lish by Marcela Sulak, present a world beset by dan­ger and uncer­tain­ty, yet they nonethe­less cry out for com­mu­ni­ty, con­nec­tion, coop­er­a­tion, and coexistence.

Discussion Questions