Mourning a Father Lost by Avraham Balaban
A Kibbutz Childhood Remembered

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Synopsis

Returning to the kibbutz of his childhood to attend his father's funeral, Avraham Balaban confronts his buried yet still intensely painful childhood memories. Comparing the kibbutz of today with that of his early years, the author weaves together two interrelated stories: a sensitive artist growing up in the intensely pragmatic world of Kibbutz Huldah and the rise and fall of a grand yet failed social experiment. As he moves through the seven days of sitting shivah for his father, Balaban experiences an expanding cycle of mourning--for self, family, the kibbutz, and Israel itself. With a poet's keen voice, Balaban pens a poignant, frank portrait of the emotional damage wrought by the kibbutz educational system, which separated children from their parents, hoping to establish a new kind of family, a nonbiological family. Indeed, he realizes that he is mourning not the physical death of his father, but the much earlier death of the father-child bond. Only the unwavering love of his remarkable mother rescued him. Readers will see the kibbutz movement, and Israel in general, with new eyes after finishing this book. In the process of unearthing his earliest memories, Balaban meditates on the mechanism of memory and the forces that shape it. Thus, he examines the varied layers--familial, societal, and national--that establish individual identity. During the shivah, he discovers the tremendous power of words in shaping one's world, on the one hand, and their redemptive power on the other.
 

About Avraham Balaban

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Romance author Jayne Ann Krentz was born in Borrego Springs, California on March 28, 1948. She received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Masters degree in library science from San Jose State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a librarian. Her novels include: Truth or Dare, All Night Long, and Copper Beach. She has written under seven different names: Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Stephanie James, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz. Her first book, Gentle Pirate, was published in 1980 under the name Jayne Castle. She currently uses only three personas to represent her three specialties. She uses the name Jayne Ann Krentz for her contemporary pieces, Amanda Quick for her historical fiction pieces, and Jayne Castle for her futuristic pieces. She has received numerous awards for her work including the 1995 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Trust Me, the 2004 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Falling Awake, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, the Romantic Times Jane Austen Award, and the Susan Koppelman Award for Feminist Studies for Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance.
 
Published November 19, 2003 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 212 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mourning a Father Lost

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The death of his father led Balaban to return home to Israel to mourn—but when he arrived home to the kibbutz where he'd been raised, he realized that he was mourning more than the loss of his parent.

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