Cover

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Half title, Series page, Title page, Copyright, In Memoriam

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

As I part with this book and send it to print, Jerusalem is gripped with fear, violence, hate, racism, and despair. In the fall semester of 2015, I returned to some of the autobiographies discussed here with my students at the Department of Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. ...

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Introduction | Hebrew Autobiography—Nation, Relation, and Narration

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pp. 1-12

Israeli autobiography has been instrumental in the shaping of contemporary national Israeli selves and, in turn, is influenced by concepts of selfhood in Israeli culture. A key literary genre in modern Hebrew letters, autobiography grapples with the dilemmas of modern Jewish and national Israeli being. ...

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One | “To Be a Jew among Jews: ”The Reluctant Israeli Native in Yoram Kaniuk

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pp. 13-42

Yoram Kaniuk, who was born in Tel Aviv in 1930, published fiction prolifically beginning in the early 1960s but did not achieve critical recognition until three decades later, with the postmodern turn in Israeli fiction.1 In his final years his popularity rose to its greatest heights, with academic conferences devoted to his work and tributes offered by young authors.2 ...

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Two | “I Have a Pain in My Mother”: Natan Zach and Haim Be’er

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pp. 43-74

This chapter explores two autobiographical selves formed in relation to dying mothers, in the works of Natan Zach and Haim Be’er. Writing of their mothers, both authors create narratives that shape and delineate their relationships with their writerly identities and with Israeli nationalism. ...

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Three | Languages of Immigration: Shimon Ballas and Aharon Appelfeld

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pp. 75-102

Shimon Ballas (b. 1930) and Aharon Appelfeld (b. 1932) both immigrated to Israel, and they both relinquished their mother tongue in favor of Hebrew. But these similarities only highlight the distant poles Ballas and Appelfeld occupy on the Israeli spectrum of literature and ethnicity. ...

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Four | Gendered Margins: Narrative Strategies, Embodied Selves, and Subversion in Women’s Autobiography

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pp. 103-152

Like modern Hebrew literature and culture in general, Hebrew autobiography has been dominated by men’s voices. Nationalism has enhanced this dominance in Hebrew letters and contributed significantly to the marginalization of women’s writing. However, as early as the 1920s in prestate Palestine, women began to produce life writings, memoirs, and testimonies ...

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Conclusion | Prophets and Hedgehogs

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pp. 153-166

Rather than recapitulate my claims in this concluding chapter, I will present a condensed reading of an autobiographical sketch by Ariel Hirschfeld. “Bat kol” (literally: small voice, daughter of a voice, divine voice), a passage from Hirschfeld’s Rishumim shel hitgalut (Notes on Epiphany), encapsulates the vital presence of contemporary autobiography in Israeli culture.1 ...

Notes

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pp. 167-200

Credits

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pp. 201-202

Index

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pp. 203-214