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Hemda Horovitz is nearing the end of her life. As she lies in bed in Jerusalem, the present flickers in and out as memories from the past flood her thoughts: her childhood in the kibbutz spent under the disappointed gaze of her stern, pioneer father; the lake that was her only solace; and her own two children, one whom she could never love and the other whom she loved too much. Avner, the beloved child, has grown up to be a heavy, anguished man, disillusioned by his work and trapped in a loveless marriage. When visiting his mother in hospital he witnesses an elegant couple's final poignant moments together; after the man's death Avner becomes obsessed with finding the woman, and a strange and delicate relationship unfolds. Dina, Hemda's daughter, has put aside her career in order to give her teenage daughter, Nitzan, the warmth she never received from her own mother. But Nitzan is withdrawing from her, and as Dina slides into despair she is overcome by a longing to adopt a child - a longing that, if fulfilled, may destroy her fragile family. Zeruya Shalev's electrifying new vel is at once a meditation on the state of modern Israel and a profound exploration of family, yearning, compromise and the insistent pull of the past.
Zeruya Shalev was born at Kibbutz Kinneret. She is the author of five novels, a book of poetry and a children's book. Her novels Love Life, Man and Woman and Late Family have received critical acclaim both in Israel and abroad and have been bestsellers in several countries. Shalev has been awarded the Book Publishers Association's Gold and Platinum Prizes, the Corine Prize (Germany, 2001), the Amphi Award (France, 2003), the ACUM Prize three times (1997, 2003, 2005), and the French Wizo Prize (2007). Husband and Wife was also nominated for the Femina Prize (France, 2002). A feature film of Love Life, produced in Germany, was released in 2008. Her books have been translated into twenty-five languages and in 2012 she was awarded the prestigious Welt-Literature Award, and in 2014 The Remains of Love won the Prix Femina for Foreign Fiction. She lives in Jerusalem. Philip Simpson's published translations from Hebrew to English include The Lover by A.B. Yeshoshua, Where the Jackals Howl by Amos Oz, From These Men by Shimon Peres and A Guide to the Perplexed by Gilad Atzmon. He has also contributed to The Oxford Book of Hebrew Short Stories, New Women's Writing from Israel and Contemporary Israeli Women's Writing, among others. He lives in Norfolk.