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I was born in Britain, moved to Israel--like Israela's character Elisheva--just before the Israeli '56 war, and grew to adulthood in Jerusalem. I have a BA in English literature, and a Masters and Ph.D. in theater Arts from UCLA.
As a director and teacher of theater, I was trained to manipulate conflict for dramatic effect.
What a glib endeavor that is, I tell myself, compared to the blood and tears of real life.
Since childhood, I've watched friends and family struggle, question, sacrifice their children to the Israel Arab conflict. I watch as parents send their children off to war, from generation to generation, with no end in sight.
I moved to Israel just eight years after the State of Israel was formed, and have lived there intermittently since childhood.
I taught Hebrew literature and biblical studies in St. Louis and Hebrew language and culture in Boston.
I also worked as an Assistant to the Cultural Attache of Israel in Boston, as the coordinator of educational programs
for exchange students between U.S. and Israel.
In Israela, you will go beyond race and ethnicity, to the story of a land and people, in conflict,
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I wrote Israela in an effort to counteract what I considered the black/white media coverage of the Israel Arab conflict.
More than anything, my intent was to portray the human face of Israel.
A plethora of historical treatises and political works has been written about Israel, written, it seems to me, for those who are already familiar with and invested in the area.
There are many powerful Israeli novelists whose stories provide us with background to the region's conflicts,
glimpses into Israeli/Arab tensions.
The aim of my novel about Israel is to describe life in Israel from the inside, to portray this country at war and the everyday people who struggle with it, for people who, despite frequent news coverage, know little or nothing about what Israel, or Israelis - Jews and Arabs are like,
Much the way so many of us remained ignorant of Ireland’s centuries’ old war between Catholics and Protestants.
What physical and ethical struggles do these people combat on a daily, often hourly basis?
What is it like to live with insoluble conflicts? To continue living like that?
To sacrifice your children to a never-ending drama?
Experience--if only from a distance-- the human face of this eternal Middle East conflict.
Love and struggle with a family fragmented by war...
I started writing this book for my children. I wanted to trace the trajectory of modern Israel in order to see how we’d arrived at our present reality.
I also wrote it for the many people I meet who are ignorant of the complexity and the richness of Israeli life; ignorant of the temerity that all of its citizens demonstrate,
and of the excruciating concerns that tear them apart on a constant basis.
as I wrote, fictional characters and actions kept popping into my head, forcing me to follow them.
Conflicts, secrets, lies, tender moments, and moments of betrayal, grew into a story.
That fictional story is the Israela I offer you now.
If you read it, I would love to hear from you.
I would love to hear your comments.
Please join my email at
Or share your thoughts on my blog page. I would so appreciate that.
Israela is routed in modern day Israel, yet it reaches back to biblical times.
It is a work of fiction, fantasy, and ultimately – of hope.
The Human Face of Conflict
Interview Questions & Answers
Why did you write this book?
I wanted to portray the excruciating ethical and existential dilemmas that torment Israelis on a daily, hourly, basis In the Middle East. People wage wars over perspectives. I wanted to bring my readers into Israeli homes, to experience for themselves the hope, the joy, and the pain.
What are you working on now?
I have recently published Hidden: Nistar, my second work of fiction.
Can you tell us something about it?
It is comprised of two novellas, Hidden and Hanover Gardens---about the devastation of war, and the human capacity for growth .
Why are your three main characters, in Israela, women?
Israel is surrounded by enemy countries, forced for its survival to rely on its necessary male reaction, the military. My book reflects an equally necessary, female, nurturing response, one that accompanies and challenges the all too often, but essential, hard line. In my mind, only with a fusion of healthy masculine and feminine energies, will Israel achieve stability in the area.
Do you think your Israela is one-sided?
I can only write what I know. My experience, and the extension of my knowledge, is all I have---
and my imagination. Israela is a novel.
I believe fiction has given me the freedom to describe, from the inside, cousin peoples torn by war. Israela might have been titled, Israela: A Perspective. As I say in the novel, “Wars are fought over perspectives.”
Israela is a a story of passionate people, people thirsty for peace, under the constant threat of war.
What, in your mind, is the major question raised by your book?
How can these two peoples overcome hostility while remaining loyal to their cultures?
What political solutions does the book come up with?
None. Israela is a work of fiction. It paints a picture. It raises questions. I am neither a politician, nor a historian. However, my previous book (Electra: A Gender Sensitive Study of the Plays Based on the Myth, South Carolina, McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers, 1995) develops the same Jungian fusion of male and female principles that I emphasize here.