The Name

The Name

Book - 1998
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Published in 1996 by the most prestigious literary imprint of Israel, The Name was awarded a leading Israeli literary prize in 1997. Within months of its publication, the book was seized upon by scholars who compared Govrin to the likes of Dostoevsky, Gogol, Gide, and Beckett.The Name is the story of Amalia, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, named for her father's first wife who perished in a Nazi death camp and whose memory haunts Amalia's youth. In a decisive, rebellious break from the culture of remembrance in which she was raised, Amalia grows into a free-spirited, utterly secular young woman who attempts to remake her life, to change her identity, and to redefine herself as a woman stripped of history. But unable to escape her cultural legacy and plagued by troubling questions of faith, Amalia is drawn to a charismatic rabbi who preaches a fiery heterodoxy. Under his sway, Amalia moves into a tiny apartment on the fringe of the ultra-Orthodox community of Jerusalem and devotes herself to rituals of purification and redemption that are to culminate in a horrific, ultimate act of atonement.In Govrin's hands, the city of Jerusalem becomes a luminous, imposing character in the story--an entity whose complex religious, political, and social tensions mirror Amalia's confused and delusional state of mind. Govrin's style and dexterity are impressive, ranging from the liturgical to the confessional, from the erotic to the sublime, and marking this as a noteworthy literary debut.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Riverhead Books, c1998.
ISBN: 9781573220729
Branch Call Number: F GOV
Characteristics: 375 p. ; 24 cm.


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