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The House of Rajani

by Alon Hilu

Who will you believe when you are presented with these two diaries written in parallel - the Jewish man who cheats on his wife or the Arab boy who says that he can see into the future? This historical tale of love and betrayal symbolises the 20th century conflict, fought over land, between Jews and Arabs. A read full of rich and lush description.

Extract

I knew nothing of this friendship between the two of them; rather, I thought the opposite was true, that they loathed one another as could be seen in their eyes, and the kiss he planted on her lips seemed to sear my body with its heat, and the green-eyed gruffness of jealousy rose up inside me and I made my way quickly to the far side of the reception room to a small, forgotten side door, a darkened tunnel that led to their bedroom, and I crawled among furniture and other belongings long abandoned, tearing through cobwebs, making my way through dust gathered over generations, dirt from all ages, until I reached a hidden doorway at the very end of the room, and it was there, in the dim light of a late afternoon sun, on the wide bed as white as a dead man's shroud, that I saw this vision, of Mother's bare thighs dripping with sweat, and her deep moans, and above all this, rising and falling, up and down and up and down, with speed and diligence, with temperance and speed, the angel Gabriel's two naked buttocks.
Translated by Evan Fallenberg

Parallels

The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan
A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz
 

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