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Encyclopedia > Israeli literature
State of Israel

Land of Israel · Districts · Cities
Transport · Mediterranean
Dead Sea · Red Sea · Sea of Galilee
Jerusalem · Tel Aviv · Haifa Israeli Coat of Arms Original digital image can be found at the site of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www. ... Motto: none Anthem: Hatikvah Capital Jerusalem[1] Largest city Jerusalem Official language(s) Hebrew, Arabic Government President Prime Minister Parliamentary democracy Moshe Katsav Ehud Olmert Independence  Declaration From the United Kingdom 14 May 1948 (05 Iyar 5708) Area  - Total    - Water (%)   20,770 km² (150th) 8,019 mi²  ~2% Population  - December... Image File history File links Flag_of_Israel. ... This article concerns the concept of The Land of Israel (Hebrew: ארץ ישראל Eretz Yisrael) in Jewish and Christian thought throughout the history from its Biblical sources to the present day. ... There are six main districts of Israel, known in Hebrew as mehozot (singular: mehoz) and thirteen sub-districts known as nafot (singular: nafa). ... Cities in Israel, by district: // Northern District See also North District, Israel. ... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ... The Jordan River flowing into the Dead Sea The Dead Sea (Arabic البحر الميت, Hebrew ים המלח) is the lowest exposed point on the Earths surface. ... Location of the Red Sea Image:Red Seaimage. ... The Sea of Galilee with the Jordan River flowing out of it to the south and into the Dead Sea Kineret redirects here; for the Amgen drug having this tradename, see Anakinra The Sea of Galilee is Israels largest freshwater lake, approximately 53 kilometers (33 miles) in circumference, about... Jerusalem (31°46′N 35°14′E; Hebrew: (help· info) Yerushalayim; Arabic: (help· info) al-Quds, Greek Ιεροσόλυμα), is an ancient Middle Eastern city on the watershed between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea at an elevation of 650-840 meters. ... Tel-Aviv was founded on empty dunes north of the existing city of Jaffa. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

History of Israel

Zionism · Timeline ·Aliyah · Herzl
Balfour · Mandate · 1947 UN Plan
Independence · Austerity · Refugees
This article discusses the history of the modern State of Israel, from its independence proclamation in 1948 to the present. ... Poster promoting a film about Jewish settlement in Palestine, 1930s: Toward a New Life (in Romanian),The Promised Land (in Hungarian), in small (down) text is written First Palestinian sound movie 1844 Discourse on the Restoration of the Jews by Mordecai Noah, page one. ... Timeline of Zionism in the modern era: 1861 - The Zion Society is formed in Frankfurt, Germany. ... Aliyah (Hebrew: עלייה; ascent or going up) is a term widely used to mean Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel (and since its establishment in 1948, the State of Israel). ... Theodor Herzl, in his middle age. ... The Balfour Declaration was a letter dated November 2, 1917 from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, to Lord Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation, a private Zionist organization. ... Map of the territory under the British Mandate of Palestine. ... On 29 November 1947 the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine or United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, a plan to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict in the British Mandate of Palestine, was approved by the United Nations General Assembly, at the UN World Headquarters in New York. ... Main article: History of Israel Austerity in Israel: From 1949 to 1959, the state of Israel was, to a varying extent, under a regime of austerity (צנע tsena), during which rationing and similar measures were enforced. ...

Arab-Israeli conflict · Proposals

1948 War · 1949 Armistice · Suez War
Six-Day War · Attrition War
Yom Kippur War · Lebanon War
Peace treaties with: Egypt, Jordan
Israel (in blue color) and the Arab League states (in green, Comoros is not shown). ... Geneva Accord October 20, 2003 Road Map for Peace April 30, 2003 The Peoples Voice July 27, 2002 Elon Peace Plan 2002 ... The 1948 Arab-Israeli War is referred to as the War of Independence (Hebrew: מלחמת העצמאות) or as the War of Liberation (Hebrew: מלחמת השחרור) by Israelis. ... The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and its neighbors Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. ... Combatants Israel, France, United Kingdom Egypt Commanders Moshe Dayan (CoS of the IDF) General Sir Charles Keightley (C-in-C), Vice-Admiral Pierre Barjot (Deputy) Gamal Abdel Nasser Strength 45,000 British, 34,000 French, 175,000 Israeli 300,000 Egyptians Casualties 189 Israelis KIA, unknown number WIA, 16 British... Combatants Israel Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq Commanders Yitzhak Rabin, Moshe Dayan, Uzi Narkiss, Israel Tal, Ariel Sharon Abdel Hakim Amer, Abdul Munim Riad, Sharif Zaid Ibn Shaker, Hafez al-Assad Strength 50,000 troops (264,000 including mobilized reservists); 197 combat aircraft Egypt 150,000 troops; Syria 75,000; Jordan... The War of Attrition was a limited war fought between Egypt and Israel from 1968 to 1970. ... Combatants Israel Egypt, Syria, (Jordan, Iraq) Commanders Moshe Dayan, David Elazar, Ariel Sharon, Shmuel Gonen, Benjamin Peled Saad El Shazly, Ahmad Ismail Ali Strength 415,000 troops; 1,500 tanks, 3,000 armored carriers; 945 artillery units 100 mm and up; 561 airplanes, 84 helicopters; 38 warships. ... Lebanon War (Hebrew: מלחמת לבנון Milkhemet Levanon), also known as the 1982 Invasion of Lebanon or Operation Peace of the Galilee (מבצע שלום הגליל Mivtsa Shlom HaGalil in Hebrew), began June 6, 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon. ...

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Timeline · Peace process · Peace camp
1st Intifada · Oslo · 2nd Intifada
Barrier · Disengagement Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip are at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ... This is an incomplete timeline of events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ... The UN Partition Plan Map of the State of Israel today The Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has taken shape over the years, despite the ongoing violence in the Middle East. ... The Israeli peace camp is a collection of political and non-political movements which desire to promote peace, mainly with the Arab neighbours of Israel (the Palestinians, Syria and Lebanon) and encourage co-existence with the Arab citizens of Israel. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles (DOP), were finalized in Oslo, Norway on August 20, 1993, and subsequently officially signed at a public ceremony in Washington D.C. on September 13, 1993, with Mahmoud Abbas signing for the... The wreckage of a commuter bus in West Jerusalem after a suicide bombing on Tuesday, 18 June 2002. ... The barrier route as of May 2005. ... A map illustrating the four phases of the Gaza disengagement plan. ...


Science & Tech. · Companies · Tourism
This article does not cite its references or sources. ... . The top 10 Israeli companies by sales are: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. ... Tourism in Israel includes a rich variety of historical and religious sites in the Holy Land, as well as modern beach resorts, archaeological tourism, heritage tourism and ecotourism. ...

Demographics · Culture

Judaism · Israeli Arabs · Kibbutz
Music · Archaeology · Universities
Hebrew · Literature · Israelis This article discusses the demographics of Israel. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Religion in Israel is unique in that Israel is the only country in which Judaism is the religion of the majority of citizens. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Kibbutz Dan, near Qiryat Shemona, in the Upper Galilee, 1990s A kibbutz (Hebrew: קיבוץ; plural: kibbutzim: קיבוצים, gathering or together) is an Israeli collective community. ... Modern Israeli music is heavily influenced by its constituents, which include Palestinians (see Palestinian music) and Jewish immigrants (see Jewish music) from more than 120 countries around the world have brought their own musical traditions, making Israel a global melting pot. ... The archaeology of Israel is a national passion that also attracts considerable international interest on account of the regions Biblical links. ... There are eight official universities in Israel. ... Hebrew (עִבְרִית ‘Ivrit) is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by more than seven million people in Israel with the West Bank, the United States, and Jewish communities around the world. ...

Laws · Politics

Law of Return · Jerusalem Law
Parties · Elections · PM · President
Knesset · Supreme Court · Courts The Basic Laws of Israel are a key component of Israels uncodified constitution. The State of Israel has no formal constitution. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Law of Return (חוק השבות) is Israeli legislation that allows Jews to settle in Israel and gain citizenship. ... The Jerusalem Law is a common name of Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel passed by the Israeli Knesset on July 30, 1980 (17th Av, 5740). ... Political parties in Israel: Israels political system is based on proportional representation which allows for a multi-party system with numerous parties, in which a single party usually has no chance of gaining power by itself, forcing the parties to cooperate and form coalition governments. ... Elections in Israel gives information on election and election results in Israel. ... The Prime Minister of Israel (Hebrew: ראש הממשלה, Rosh HaMemshala, lit. ... President of the State of Israel (Hebrew: נשיא המדינה, Nasi Hamedina) is the head of state of Israel, but has a largely ceremonial, figurehead role with real power lying in the hands of the Prime Minister of Israel. ... The modern Knesset building, Israels parliament, in Jerusalem Though similar-sounding, Beit Knesset (בית כנסת) literally means House of Assembly, and refers to a synagogue. ... Frontal view The Supreme Court (Hebrew: בית המשפט העליון, Beit Hamishpat Haelyon ) is at the head of the court system in the State of Israel. ... Judicial branch is an independent branch of the government which includes secular and religious courts. ...

Foreign affairs

UN · Intl. Law · Arab League Foreign relations of Israel deals with some of the following issues: In addition to seeking an end to hostilities with Arab forces, against which it has fought five wars since 1948, Israel has given high priority to gaining wide acceptance as a sovereign state with an important international role. ... Israel and the United Nations have had very mixed relations, since the states founding on May 14, 1948. ... Arguments about the applicability of various elements of international law underlie the debate around the Arab-Israeli conflict. ... From the time it was established in March 1945, the Arab League took an active role in the Arab-Israeli conflict. ...

Israeli Security Forces

Israel Defense Forces
Mossad · Shabak · Aman
Magav · Police · Prison Service The Israeli Security Forces (ISF) are several organizations collectively responsible for Israels security. ... The Israel Defense Forces are part of the Israeli Security Forces. ... Official seal of the Mossad (help· info) (Hebrew: המוסד למודיעין ולתפקידים מיוחדים, Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations [1]) is an Israeli intelligence agency, commonly referred to as Mossad. ... Shabak emblem Defender who shall not be seen The Shabak (in Hebrew, שבכ (help· info)) an acronym of ShérÅ«t ha-BÄ«tāhōn ha-KlālÄ« שירות ביטחון כללי) known in English as the Shin Bet (which was how the Shabak was known in Israel in its early days) or the... Aman badge Aman (אמן) is the Hebrew abbreviation for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Directorate of Military Intelligence (אגף מודיעין), Israels central, overarching military inteligence. ... The Israel Border Police (Hebrew: משמר הגבול, mishmar hagvul) is the combat branch of the Israeli Police. ... The Israel Prison Service (Hebrew: שירות בתי הסוהר, Sherut Batei HaSohar), commonly known as SHABAS, is the Israeli prison service. ...


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Israeli literature is the literature of the people or State of Israel. Literature is literally acquaintance with letters as in the first sense given in the Oxford English Dictionary (from the Latin littera meaning an individual written character (letter)). The term has generally come to identify a collection of texts, which in Western culture are mainly prose, both fiction and non-fiction...

It is mostly written in Hebrew and the history of Israeli literature is interesting because it is mostly the product of the revival of the Hebrew language as a spoken language in modern times. Hebrew (עִבְרִית ‘Ivrit) is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by more than seven million people in Israel with the West Bank, the United States, and Jewish communities around the world. ...

Since the middle of the nineteenth century, the Hebrew language was increasingly used for speaking as well as writing modern forms of prose, poetry and drama.

By law, the Jewish National and University Library of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem receives two copies of each book published in Israel. In 2004 it reported that it received 6,436 new books. Most of them were published in Hebrew, and most of those books published in Hebrew were original to the Hebrew language. Almost 8% of the 2004 crop were children's books and another 4% were textbooks. According to the type of publisher, the books were 55% commercial, 14% self-published, 10% governmental, 7% educational, and 14% published by other types of organizations. [1] האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is one of Israels oldest, largest and most important institutes of higher learning and research. ... It has been designated the: International Year of Rice (by the United Nations) International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO) 2004 World Health Day topic was Road Safety (by World Health Organization) Year of the Monkey (by the Chinese calendar) See the world in...



The selection of authors mentioned here is according to the articles under References below. Quoted text is from the 2003 article except where indicated otherwise.

The first Modern Hebrew prose in the Land of Israel was written by "immigrant authors", for example: This article concerns the concept of The Land of Israel (Hebrew: ארץ ישראל Eretz Yisrael) in Jewish and Christian thought throughout the history from its Biblical sources to the present day. ...

  • Yosef Haim Brenner "saw flaws everywhere"; "favored the rabbinical and medieval forms of spoken Hebrew". Lived 1881-1921.
  • Shmuel Yosef Agnon addressed "major contemporary spiritual concerns"; loss of tradition, faith, and identity; "inner uncertainties"; tragedy and the grotesque. Lived 1888-1970.

Yosef Haim Brenner, alternately Yosef Chaim Brenner, (1881 - 1921) was a Ukrainian-born Hebrew-language author, one of the pioneers of literature in modern Hebrew. ... Shmuel Yosef Agnon (Hebrew: שמואל יוסף עגנון; known as shay agnon, born Shmuel Yosef Czaczkes) (July 17, 1888 – February 17, 1970) was the first Hebrew writer to win the Nobel Prize in literature (1966). ...

The 1940s and 1950s

During the 1940s and 1950s: "the War of Independence Generation" (he:סופרי דור תש"ח). Native-born writers were conflicted "between individualism and commitment to society and state"; characterized by "social realism". // Events and trends World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrination, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atomic bomb. ... // Events and trends This map shows two essential global spheres during the Cold War in 1959. ... The 1948 Arab-Israeli War is referred to as the War of Independence (Hebrew: מלחמת העצמאות) or as the War of Liberation (Hebrew: מלחמת השחרור) by Israelis. ...

Yizhar Smilansky (born 27 September 1916), better known by his pen name S. Yizhar, is an Israeli writer and a great innovator in modern Hebrew literature. ... Moshe Shamir (September 15, 1921–August 20, 2004) was an Israeli author, playwright, opinion writer, and public figure. ... Hanoch Bartov (born 1926, Hebrew calendar 5686) is an Israeli author and opinion writer. ... Haim Gouri (1923-) is a Israelipoet, novelist, and journalist born in Tel Aviv and currently living in Jerusalem. ... Benjamin Tammuz (July 11, 1919–July 19, 1989) was an Israeli writer and artist who contributed to Israeli culture in many disciplines, as a novelist, journalist, critic, painter, and sculptor. ... Aharon Megged (born 1920) is an Israeli author and playwright. ...

The 1960s

During the early 1960s: "Very influential" writers followed less "ideological patterns", and wrote more about the individual; "psychological realism, allegory and symbolism"; "speculation and skepticism regarding... conventions". The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ... Psychology (ancient Greek: psyche = soul or mind, logos/-ology = study of) is an academic and applied field involving the study of the mind, brain, and behavior, both human and nonhuman. ... Realism is commonly defined as a concern for fact or reality and rejection of the impractical and visionary. ... An allegory (from Greek αλλος, allos, other, and αγορευειν, agoreuein, to speak in public) is a figurative mode of representation conveying a meaning other than and in addition to the literal. ...

Avraham Boolie Yehoshua (born in Jerusalem in 1936) is an Israeli novelist, essayist, and playwright, known publicly as A. B. Yehoshua, and familiarly as Boolie. Yehoshua was born in the fifth Jerusalem generation of a Sephardi Jewish family (Feld 2000). ... Amos Oz, November 7, 2004 Amos Oz (born May 4, 1939), birth name Amos Klausner, is an Israeli writer, novelist, and journalist. ... Yoram Kaniuk (born 1930) is an Israeli writer, painter, journalist, and theater critic. ...

The 1980s and 1990s

During the 1980s and 1990s: "Intense literary activity", aimed at "enabling readers to understand themselves", characterized "three generations" of authors, including Oz, Yehoshua, Kaniuk, as well as: The 1980s decade refers to the years from 1980 to 1989, inclusive. ... The 1990s decade refers to the years from 1990 to 1999, inclusive. ...

Aharon Appelfeld (b. ... David Grossman (born 1954 in Jerusalem) is an Israeli author. ... Meir Shalev (born 1948 in Nahalal, Israel) is an Israeli writer. ...

About the Holocaust

The Holocaust was put in fresh perspective by Appelfeld and Grossman, as well as (among others): This article deals with the Holocaust committed by the Nazis. ...

Yehoshua Kenaz (born 1937, Petah Tikva, Israel) is one of Israels leading novelists. ...

New themes

New themes arose:

  • Anton Shammas (he:אנטון שמאס), "an Arab-Christian writer": "the Arab village"; however, popular Israeli Arab writers such as Emil Habibi (a recipient of the Israel Prize) continue to prefer writing in Arabic.
  • Yossl Birstein (he:יוסל בירשטיין): the ultra-Orthodox world
  • Haim Be`er: "Jerusalem's Hassidic courts"
  • Dov Elbaum, Michal Govrin: additional writers in the "religious dimension" (Furstenberg)
  • Yitzhak Orpaz-Auerbach: the "unbeliever" when "fundamentalism is gaining"
  • Sami Michael, Albert Suissa (he:אלברט סויסה), Dan Benaya Seri (he:דן בניה-סרי): "the place of... new immigrants from Arab countries"
  • Shimon Ballas (he:שמעון בלס), Eli Amir (he:אלי אמיר), Amnon Shamosh, Yitzhak Gormezano-Goren: additional writers about the Sephardi experience
  • Yitzhak Ben-Ner (he:יצחק בן נר), as well as Kaniuk, Grossman, Oz: "universal themes such as democracy and righteousness" during "constant challenges"

Emile Shukri Habibi (August, 1921 - May 3, 1996) was an Israeli Arab writer and politician. ... The Israel Prize is the most prestigious award handed out by the State of Israel. ... Haim Be`er (born 1945) is an Israeli author. ... Yitshak Orpaz (born 1923) is an Israeli writer. ... Sami Michael (born 1926) is an Israeli author. ... Amnon Shamosh (1929-) is an Israeli author and poet. ...

Women authors

Women authors became more prominent on "general topics", as well as women's role within "Jewish tradition and... in the Zionist enterprise":

Amalia Kahana-Carmon (born 1926) is an Israeli author, educator, and recipient of the Israel Prize for literature (2000). ... Shulamith Hareven (1930–November 25, 2003) was an Israeli author and essayist. ... Batya Gur (1947, Tel Aviv - May 19, 2005) is an Israeli writer, specializing in detective fiction. ... Nurit Zarchi (born Jerusalem, October 19, 1941; 28 Tishri 5702 AM) is an Israeli poet and author for adults and children. ...

Detective fiction

Some of the above women (Lapid and Gur) began writing detective fiction, as well as the following men and women:

Michael Bar-Zohar is an Israeli historian known for his controversial biography of David Ben-Gurion Ben-Gurion: The Armed Prophet (1968). ... Ram Oren (born in 1936) is an Israeli author. ... Amnon Jackont is an Israeli author of detective fiction. ...

The younger generation

A "younger generation" of authors that is "more universalistic", "alienated, surreal and idiosyncratic":

Some postmodernist writers: Etgar Keret (born 1967) is an Israeli writer residing in Tel Aviv. ... Irit Linur (born 1961) is an Israeli writer and radio commentator. ... Yitzhak Laor, Israeli poet, was born in Pardes Hannah, Israel, in 1948. ...

Late 1990s

A new front of young authors active in the late 1990's and new millennium (see also [2])

  • Dorit Rabinyan (he:דורית רבינין)
  • Yael Hadaya (he:יעל הדיה)
  • Alon Hilu
  • Dudu Bossi
  • Eshkol Nevo
  • Moshe Ophir
  • Efrat Danon
  • Alex Epstein (postmodern)
  • Maya Arad (novel in rhyme)
  • Shimon Adaf (poetry and a detective novel)
  • Yuval Shimoni
  • Avner Shavit
  • Benny Ziffer

Alon Hilu [in Hebrew אלון חילו] (born Israel, Jaffa, June 21, 1972), is an Israeli novelist. ... Shimon Adaf (Born 1972, the town of sderot), an Israeli poet, editor and author. ... Benny Ziffer was born in 1953 in Tel Aviv, Israel to Heinz and Nira Ziffer, a pioneer couple who immigrated to Israel from Turkey in 1949. ...

Authors of children's books

Writing for children:

  • Uri Orlev
  • Yehuda Atlas (he:יהודה אטלס): set a trend of writing short poems from a child's perspective
  • Ephraim Sidon: satirical writer, often writing for adults under the guise of children's books
  • Nira Harel
  • Tamar Bergman
  • Gila Almagor: mostly autobiographical novels
  • Daniella Carmi
  • Dorit Orgad: prolific writer for pre-teens and young adults
  • Michal Snunit: short illustrated books, allegories on spirituality and emotion, popular as gift books for adults
  • Alona Frankel (he:אלונה פרנקל): "Once Upon a Potty"
  • Galila Ron-Feder Amit: prolific writer for pre-teens and young adults
  • Smadar Shir: prolific writer for pre-teens and young adults

Uri Orlev (born Jerzy Henryk Orlowski in 1931) is an award-winning Israeli childrens author and translator. ... Gila Almagor (b. ...


  • Furstenberg, Rochelle. "The State of the Arts: Israeli Literature." Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1998. [3],
  • Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "CULTURE- Literature", 2003. [4]
  • Weill, Asher. "Culture in Israel- On the Cusp of the Millennium." Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2000. [5].

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Yosef Oren - An Unconventional Attitude Toward Israeli Literature (13206 words)
The history of Hebrew literature recounts the continuous effort of the generations to maintain the borders of this internal expanse in the face of the penetration of values (2.3) and visions (2.4) foreign to those values and visions to which the national literature decided to devote itself long ago.
Their writing is part of the literature of the nation to which each of them belongs, despite the fact that their works are written in the Hebrew language and that some of them have an amazing mastery of the language which, at times, surpasses that of Jewish authors in Israel and abroad.
This was literature involved in the life of the period and it expressed the primary influences on Israeli and Jewish lives throughout the State’s existence: sovereignty (4.1), immigration (4.5), the Holocaust (4.6) and wars (4.7).
Israeli literature in English (1341 words)
Leading Israeli novelist Sami Michael shares his gift for navigating the cultural conflicts in modern Israel with A Trumpet in the Wadi, a novel that transcends its Middle Eastern setting with an honest and heartbreaking story of impossible love and the strength of family.
Israeli society will snicker at our expense." Though predictable general pronouncements blunt the novel's effect, Castel-Bloom's insights into human weaknesses and self-interest are wickedly precise.
Tragic, comic, and utterly honest, this extraordinary memoir is at once a great family saga and a magical self-portrait of a writer who witnessed the birth of a nation and lived through its turbulent history.
  More results at FactBites »



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