Friday, 22 July 2011

Shalev, Zeruya "Husband and Wife"

Shalev, Zeruya (Tseruyah) "Husband and Wife" (Hebrew: ‏בעל ואישה‎/Baʹal Ve-Isha) - 2000

Na'ama is married to Udi whom she knew since childhood. One morning, the husband wakes up not able to move his legs. Doctors don't find anything wrong with him. But the problem is not physical, further in the book you realize that it's the marriage that is sick. The author has a wonderful way of describing the couple's different ways of trying to deal with this. There is hardly any conversation in this novel, so quite a different read. A lot of thoughts and reflections. I love how there is no finger pointing, no right or wrong in this complicated ailing relationship.

An interesting book.

From the back cover:
"With Love Life, which The Washington Post Book World called 'a brutally honest and often brilliant tour of individual and family psychology,' Zeruya Shalev achieved international literary stardom.
In her newest offering,
Husband and Wife, she takes us into the heartbreak and compromise of a diseased marriage that may or may not be capable of healing.

The quiet rhythms of the family life of Na'ama and Udi Newman suddenly screech to a halt when Udi, a healthy, active man, wakes up one morning unable to move his legs. The doctors can find no physical explanation for his paralysis, and soon it becomes painfully clear that it is a symptom of something far less tangible and far more insidious. This one morning sets in motion a series of events that reveals a vicious cycle of jealousy, paranoia, resentment, and accumulated injuries that now threaten to tear the small family apart. Na'ama, always intent on upholding the structure of her marriage regardless of its rotting foundation, is now forced to see it for what it is and deal with the consequences.

In a rush of hallucinogenic imagery,
Husband and Wife brilliantly captures the vulnerability and deceptive comforts of lives intertwined, as well as the near impossibility of setting out to disentangle them without any casualties. With this novel, Zeruya Shalev is sure to gain the renown here in the United States that she already enjoys around the world."

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