A. B. Yehoshua Analysis

Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

The writer and philosopher A. B. Yehoshua (yeh-HOH-shew-uh) first came to critical attention with short-story collections he published in the 1960’s, such as Mul ha-ye’arot (1968; facing the forests). English translations of many of these early stories are collected in The Continuing Silence of a Poet (1988). By the 1980’s, in addition to novels, Yehoshua began to publish essays and to write plays, among the most notable of which is Hafatzim (pr. 1986; Possessions, 1993); he has also written children’s books. Yehoshua holds strong, and often controversial, political views, which he has defined in his collections of essays as well as through media and academic appearances and interviews.


(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

A. B. Yehoshua is one of the most acclaimed and translated of the Hebrew novelists, known for his carefully observed portraits of Jewish life in Israel, with all its moral, political, and psychological conflicts. Among the many literary honors and awards Yehoshua has received in Israel and elsewhere are the Brenner Prize, the Bialik Prize, and the Alterman Prize. Mr. Mani was named “Best Novel of the Year” in England in 1992, and Yehoshua has also won the National Jewish Book Award twice (1990 and 1993), the Israeli Prize for Literature (1995), and Italy’s Giovanni Boccaccio Prize (2005). In 2003 he received both the Premio Napoli and the Lampedusa Literary Prize for his novel The Liberated Bride. In 2005 he was among the nominees for the first Man Booker International Prize, and he was presented with the Viareggio Prize for Lifetime Achievement (Italy). In 2006 his novel A Woman in Jerusalem won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and in 2008 Friendly Fire received the Premio Roma.


(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Band, Arnold J. “The Archaeology of Self Deception: A. B. Yehoshua’s Mar Mani.” In Studies in Modern Jewish Literature. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2003. Provides an in-depth discussion of Mr. Mani as part of a larger work concerned with contemporary Jewish literature in general.

Bayley, John. Review of Mr. Mani, by A. B. Yehoshua. The New Republic, November 5, 1992. Unravels the complexities of this novel, which jumps around in time and point of view.

Ellis, Samantha. “Fiction Turbulent as Life.” Jewish Quarterly, no. 201 (Spring, 2006): 1-6. Presents an informative survey of Yehoshua’s career, with special emphasis on the novels The Lover and Mr. Mani.

Essex, Ruth. “The Eastern Influence.” In Israeli Writing Against Itself: The Clash of Hellenism and Judaism in Modern Israeli Narrative. New York: Peter Lang, 2001. Presents analysis of Yehoshua’s novel Open Heart as part of an examination of the meeting of ancient lore and modern narrative in ten novels by Israeli writers.

Halkin, Hillel. “Politics and the Israeli Novel.” Commentary 117, no. 4 (April, 2004). A frequent translator of Yehoshua’s work offers an insightful discussion of how Israel’s political climate determines the fate of many of the characters in the author’s novels.

Horn, Bernard. Facing the Fires: Conversations with A. B. Yehoshua. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1997. A recognized expert on Yehoshua presents his own interviews with the author that cover many topics, including books, nostalgia, politics, Sephardic Jewry in Israel, and writing.

Morahg, Gilead. “Testing Tolerance: Cultural Diversity and National Unity in A. B. Yehoshua’s A Journey to the End of the Millennium.” Prooftexts 19, no. 3 (September, 1999): 235-256. Examination of Yehoshua’s novel focuses on the allegorical nature of the work and its depictions of cultural diversity.

Newton, Adam Zachary. “Not Quite Holocaust Fiction: A. B. Yehoshua’s Mr. Mani and W. G. Sebald’s The Emigrants.” In Teaching the Representation of the Holocaust, edited by Marianne Hirsch and Irene Kacandes. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2004. Compares and contrasts Yehoshua’s novel and Sebald’s Die Ausgewanderten (1992; The Emigrants, 1996) from within the context of fiction about the Holocaust.