A powerful novel about the 1948 war….

Yoram Kaniuk’s last novel, 1948, was published last year in English translation.  It is available only in e-format, which is a mixed blessing, as it’s the kind of novel whose earlier bits a reader might want to revisit when reading the later chapters, and that sort of flipping back and forth is much harder with an e-book than a printed volume.  1948 is haunting, tragic, and deeply disturbing: a memoir that blends fact and fiction, memory and fantasy, gritty narratives of battle and hints of magical realism.  On one level the book is an old man’s recollections of his younger self’s perceptions and experiences of the war.  On another it offers a microcosm of the infant state of Israel:  relations between immigrants and sabras, the trauma endured by Holocaust survivors, and the reckless courage of Israeli youth who risked, and often lost, their lives in the struggle for Israel’s creation.



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