Love Life by Zeruya Shalev

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Hailed by The New York Times Book Review as a novel that "broke all the barriers...sexually explicit yet dense with biblical allusions and psychological insight," Love Life unbuttoned Hebrew literature and spent four months as Israel's number one best-seller. What begins as a story of a young married woman's turbulent affair with an older man rapidly devolves into a feverish, lyrical crash course in the anatomy of obsession. When Yaara meets Aryeh, her father's boyhood friend, she is instantly drawn to his impassive and archly assured presence. It is not long before she forsakes her devoted and well-meaning husband for the powerful, mysterious older man who seems to embody all that she lacks: will, strength, and the key to her parents' inaccessible pasts. They embark on a heated affair that soon spirals toward the destructive as Yaara finds that the things in Aryeh that attract her also repel her with equal intensity. With shocking immediacy, Shalev lays bare Yaara's struggle to navigate extreme terrain ranging from the sublime to the grotesque, the sacred to the profane, the liberating to the all-consuming. Love Life is cerebral, seductive, provocative, and profound.

About Zeruya Shalev

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Shalev is a poet and novelist. She has a master's degree in biblical studies and is chief literary editor at an Israeli publishing house. Dalya Bilu lives in Jerusalem and has been awarded a number of prizes for her translation work, including the Israeli Ministry of Culture Prize for Translation, and the Jewish Book Council Award for Hebrew-English Translation.
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 308 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The tone—a tumbling welter of clauses strung together into lengthy run-on sentences—reflects the impulsive, willful mind of the narrator, but the effect on the reader quickly becomes numbing.

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