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Returning to the kibbutz of his childhood to attend his father's funeral, Avraham Balaban confronts his still intensely painful childhood memories. With a poet's keen voice, the author weaves together two interrelated stories: a sensitive artist growing up in the intensely pragmatic world of Kibbutz Huldah and the rise and fall of a grand yet failed social experiment. As he moves through the seven days of sitting shivah for his father, Balaban experiences an expanding cycle of mourning-for self, family, the kibbutz, and Israel itself. He pens a poignant, frank portrait of the emotional damage wrought by the kibbutz educational system, which separated children from their parents. Indeed, he realizes that he is mourning not the physical death of his father, but the much earlier death of the father-child bond. Readers will see the kibbutz movement, and Israel in general, with new eyes after finishing this book. Visit our website for sample chapters!
Avraham Balaban is professor of modern Hebrew literature at the University of Florida.