Her Body Knows by David Grossman
Two Novellas

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A fevered storyteller and a captive audience revisit the past together in each of David Grossman's new novellas, trying to make sense of a betrayal that neither one can put to rest.

In "Frenzy," reserved, respectable Shaul lets his sister-in-law, Esti, into a secret nightmare, as he reveals to her his conviction that his wife is having an affair. Along with Esti, we find ourselves trapped in his paranoia and desperation as we accompany the odd pair down Israel’s highways on a journey that reveals a passion perverted by jealousy and self-loathing.

In the title story, a successful but embittered novelist visits her mother, who is in the last stages of cancer. Grossman investigates the powers of storytelling to harm and heal as the daughter reads aloud her own imagined, merciless account of her mother's love affair with a much younger teenage boy. Gradually it becomes clear that, for all its anger, the daughter’s story and the writing process itself have led her to a new appreciation of her mother's difficult character, and her own.

Studies in obssession, claustrophobia, and the need to confess, these two novellas mark a new departure from "a writer who has been, for nearly two decades, the one of the most original and talented ... anywhere." (The New York Times Book Review).


About David Grossman

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David Grossman was born in Jerusalem on January 25, 1954, is an Israeli author of fiction, nonfiction, and youth and children's literature. His books have been translated into many languages. He is most known for his non-fiction work, The Yellow Wind. This is his study of the Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. He was awarded the Prime Minister's Prize for Hebrew literature (1984) and the Israeli Publishers Association Prize for best Hebrew novel (1985). Grossman lives in Mevasseret Zion on the outskirts of Jerusalem. He is married to Michal Grossman, a child psychologist and the mother of his three children.
Published July 11, 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 280 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Her Body Knows

Kirkus Reviews

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Shaul’s own sex life with his wife has dwindled to the joyless coupling of sleepwalkers, and, as a counterbalance, thinks Esti, he feasts masochistically on encounters that satisfy body and soul, “the essence of his life.” For the reader, Shaul is never more than a case history who needs to get a...

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The New York Times

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In Rotem's story, which takes place during her own childhood, Nili is asked by the father of a shy teenage boy to ''make him a man.'' By borrowing this event from her mother's life, Rotem has made use of ''the normal fragments of mosaic from which children somehow piece together the mystery of th...

May 15 2005 | Read Full Review of Her Body Knows: Two Novellas

Publishers Weekly

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As Rotem reads aloud, Grossman switches back and forth from Rotem's story to the present moment.

Apr 11 2005 | Read Full Review of Her Body Knows: Two Novellas

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