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Dora B : A Memoir of My Mother by Josiane Behmoiras

Dora B : A Memoir of My Mother

Biography / Autobiography   
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Josiane Behmoiras recounts her very different childhood, one of a nomadic existence without any fixed home, possessions or family apart from her mother. Dora B is an exploration of her unorthodox relationship with her mother.


Dora B : A Memoir of My Mother by Josiane Behmoiras

It is 1961 in Montpelier, France. Dora and her eight-year-old daughter Josiane have been arrested, unable to provide on demand the one franc coin to prove - according to the law - that they are not vagrants. To the detective that holds her identity papers in his hand, the solution is simple. They are penniless, unwanted, itinerant and Jewish: they must be shipped back to The Promised Land.

And so Dora and Josiane begin their new life in Israel — a place of warm sand-dunes and sweet oranges, of pomegranate juice and of mint tea poured from silver teapots. But this fresh start comes at a price. Dora, always convinced that she is the victim of some kind of conspiracy, fretfully searches for the tiny microphones that she believes monitor her every word, and rages at an imaginary enemy. Her neighbours, always hostile, begin to persecute her openly for her foreign-ness and her eccentricity. As she tries to create a home of their tiny asbestos hut, their few possessions begin to disappear. Worse are the cat-calls in the street and the constant threat of physical violence. Ostracized from their community, Dora and her daughter face the world together.

Dora B is the story of Josianeâs struggle to come to terms with the truth: that the mother who has so cherished and protected her is losing her grasp on the world. Full of warmth, humour and heartbreak, it is a portrait of an inspiring and unusual woman and a testament to a motherâs selfless love.


‘A revelation of salty poetry and raw life, worked out in her radiant voice. It feels intimate and fragmentary, but at the same time big, with the vivid haunt of mythology. ‘ Andrea Ashworth, author of Once Upon a House on Fire

About the Author

Josiane Behmoiras
Josiane Behmoiras was born in Paris in 1953 and emigrated to Israel in 1961, where she later studied film and worked as a freelance documentary director for Israeli television. In 1985 she emigrated to Australia. She completed a Masters degree in creative writing at the University of Melbourne in 2004, the year her first short stories were published.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th February 2006


Josiane Behmoiras

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Bloomsbury Publishing Plc




Biography / Autobiography



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