Martyrs' Crossing by Amy Wilentz
A Novel

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By Amy Wilentz, the acclaimed author of the prize-winning "The Rainy Season, Martyrs' Crossing" tells a stunning story of love, fear, divided loyalties, ruined friendships, and personal sacrifice -- against a backdrop of raging war in the Holy Land. One rainy night at a Jerusalem checkpoint, Israeli Lieutenant Ari Doron is ordered to refuse passage to a young Palestinian mother and her sick boy. The incident leads to a series of riots, and Doron finds himself pulled into the bitter political aftermath as battles and bus bombs explode around him. He is drawn to Marina, the boy's American-born mother. And though she is on the other side of the bloody struggle, she finds herself thinking of Doron as "her soldier." In another place, at another time, they might have been lovers, but here their story moves toward a tragic conclusion with the kind of inevitability that war imposes. Marina's father, an eminent Boston heart specialist and an outspoken Palestinian intellectual, is also sucked into the conflict he thought he had left behind long ago. Now, back in the streets of his youth, he must choose whether to support his old comrades as they manipulate his grandson's story in an ugly propaganda campaign, or break with them and wreck his last remaining childhood friendship. Caught in history's terrible catastrophe, all three become pawns for larger, inescapable forces. "Martyrs' Crossing" is a poignant story of the ambiguities of war -- of inarticulate longing and broken vows -- set in the turbulence of Israel and the West Bank.

About Amy Wilentz

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Amy Wilentz won the PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for nonfiction and the Whiting Writers Award, and was a nominee for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1990. She is the author of The Rainy Season, and has written for The Nation, The New Republic, and The New York Times. She was the Jerusalem correspondent for The New Yorker from 1995 to 1997. She lives in New York City with her husband and three sons.
Published March 8, 2001 by Simon & Schuster. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The story builds terrific tension as Wilentz draws her several subplots gradually together, and a series of staggered climaxes (including the consequences of Raad's physical and psychic failings, Doron's confused gestures toward expiation, and the fate of Marina's husband Hassan—freed by the Isra...

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The two main Israeli characters --- Ari Doron, the soldier, and Daniel Yizhar, a crusty Israeli Army spin doctor --- did not appear to me as fully developed as their Palestinian counterparts, and not for lack of time devoted.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Martyrs' Crossing: A Novel

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