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The Hilltop by Assaf Gavron
  

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We are in a Jewish settlement on the West Bank, present day. Its patriarch is Athniel Assis, a wheeler dealer who is adept at playing the system and various bits of the Government off against each other. It turns out the area must be evacuated. There is lots going on here and Gavron gives a lively and engaging account of it all entirely from the Jewish (indeed Zionist) point of view. The issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank seems pretty black and white when we see it on the news; Gavron portrays it as a messy, chaotic business taking us inside the lives of the settlers. There are a number of entwining stories, some absurd, some serious, some political, some personal, plus the lives of two lads on a kibbutz told in flashback. An important book on a big subject. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Assaf Gavron you might also like to read books by Rula Jebreal and Jaspreet Singh.

Synopsis

The Hilltop by Assaf Gavron

A brilliant and hilarious satirical novel about the state of twenty-first century Israel On a rock-strewn hilltop in the heart of the West Bank stands a lone second-hand shipping container, a generator and some goats. On this contested land, Othniel Assis - under the wary gaze of the neighbouring Palestinian village - installs his ever-expanding family. As he cheerfully manipulates government agencies, more settlers arrive and, with a hodge-podge of bankers, teachers, kibbutzniks and townies, religious and secular, the outpost takes root. But when a curious journalist stumbles into their midst, the settlement becomes the focus of an international diplomatic scandal.

Reviews

'The Hilltop is a very funny novel. And it is a very political novel, firing sharp poisoned barbs in all directions'
Haaretz Books Supplement

'The new Great Israeli Novel'
Time Out, Tel Aviv

'It is no exaggeration to say that Assaf Gavron is the most exciting, inventive, and though-provoking Israeli novelist of our generation. I loved this book.'
Reza Aslan, bestselling Iranian

-American author of No god but God Memorable...marked by its great depth of feeling. Publishers Weekly 'This many-storied, funny, shrewd, and tender satire dives into the heart of Israel, a land of trauma and zeal, fierce opinions and endless deliberation. From failed marriages to governmental dysfunction to the tragic Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gavron's spirited desert saga embraces the absurd and the profound and advocates for compassion and forgiveness, even joy.
Booklist, starred review

'Gavron treads delicately and lets readers draw their own conclusions'
Metro

'A big, ambitious, state-of-the-nation novel... full of powerful moments of high drama'
Jewish Chronicle

'Brilliantly attuned to the madhouse complexities of the current settlement crisis ... The superbly orchestrated chaos that results makes this an indispensable novel of, as one character dubs it, the Wild West Bank.'
Wall Street Journal

'The Great Israeli Novel ... Assaf Gavron stakes his claim to be Israel's Jonathan Franzen ... Like Franzen, Gavron writes realistic fiction with a comic edge that aims to take the temperature of his whole society, to tell us how Israelis live now ... a cutting satire.'
Adam Kirsch Tablet

'A middle vision between the ridiculous and the sublime ... Highlights the way nothing (or no one) is isolated anymore. Investment bankers may become Israeli settlers; Palestinian villagers have lawyers in the family ... The pleasure of The Hilltop is that it doesn't offer easy outcomes'
David Ulin Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Assaf Gavron is a writer and translator. He grew up in Jerusalem, studied in London and Vancouver, and now lives in Tel Aviv. In Israel has published four novels, a short story collection, and a collection of falafel reviews.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th May 2015

Author

Assaf Gavron

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Author's Website

assafgavron.com/

Publisher

Oneworld Publications

Format

Paperback
464 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781780747194

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