Books by David Grossman

David Grossman is the author of six novels and two works of journalism. He lives in Jerusalem.


A HORSE WALKS INTO A BAR by David Grossman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"Another thoughtful, if odd and caustic, story from one of Israel's greatest contemporary writers."
Take my life. Take my life, please…. Read full book review >
THE HUG by David Grossman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 3, 2014

"A valuable reminder that individuality, while often celebrated, can be confusing to comprehend and even scarier to preserve—for all ages. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In this gentle Israeli import, a little boy worries that because there is no one else exactly like him, he will be lonely. Read full book review >
FALLING OUT OF TIME by David Grossman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 25, 2014

"Rich, lyrical, philosophically dense—not an easy work to take in but one that repays every effort."
A genre-crossing, pensive, peripatetic novel by Israeli author Grossman (To the End of the Land, 2010, etc.). Read full book review >
TO THE END OF THE LAND by David Grossman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 21, 2010

"A classic, full of sharp descriptions of life in Palestine and Israel today, urgent in its insistence that peace can come through sharing stories and the time required to tell them."
A provocative antiwar novel by one of Israel's best-known writers (See Under: Love, 1989, etc.). Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 7, 2008

"Affecting essays that emphasize our common humanity."
Israeli novelist Grossman (Her Body Knows, 2005, etc.) muses about authors who have influenced him and about the difficulties of living and writing in one of the world's most dangerous places. Read full book review >
HER BODY KNOWS by David Grossman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2005

"Lackluster studies with little narrative payoff."
Two novellas about erotic obsession, by Israeli author Grossman (Someone to Run With, 2004, etc.). Read full book review >
DUEL by David Grossman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

A 12-year-old helps a septuagenarian friend weather a potentially deadly misunderstanding in this brief, reflective import, winner of a British prize for translated works. His mother may disapprove, but David enjoys being around old people—particularly a spry, sharp photographer named Heinrich. That pleasure turns to horror, however, when a furious rival from a decades-old love affair accuses Heinrich of theft, and, of all things, challenges him to a duel. For complex reasons, Heinrich accepts, leaving David to search frantically for a way to head off the impending tragedy. Even though he casts David as an adult looking back on the incident, Grossman cranks up the suspense with frequent cuts back and forth in time, plus side meditations on growing up, and growing old; in the end, David does find a way to head off the stiff-necked duelists, and the episode even kindles new friendships. Set in Jerusalem in the mid-1960s, this doesn't have the broad—or, for that matter, child—appeal of Daniella Carmi's Samir and Yonatan (2000), but it's refreshing to have a tale in which the city's people loom larger than its issues. (Fiction. 11-13)Read full book review >
SOMEONE TO RUN WITH by David Grossman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

"Grossman's most entertaining book yet."
An agreeably melodramatic sixth novel from the prizewinning author (Be My Knife, 2001, etc.). Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: May 1, 2003

"Chillingly, sometimes agonizingly, eloquent on hope's fading light."
Can Israel and Palestine ever make peace? Israeli novelist Grossman (Be My Knife, 2002, etc.) addresses this question from the perspective of a Jerusalem journalist who is also a husband, father, and peace activist bitterly frustrated by the leaders of both sides. Read full book review >
BE MY KNIFE by David Grossman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

"Overattenuated and underimagined. The author of See Under: Love (1989) can do better than this."
An "affair" conducted through the correspondence between two unhappily married would-be lovers is the subject of this brooding fifth novel from the accomplished Israeli author. Read full book review >
THE ZIGZAG KID by David Grossman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 29, 1997

Something new from the acclaimed Israeli author of, most recently, The Book of Intimate Grammar (1994): an Alice-in- Wonderlandlike adventure tale expressing a 13-year-old boy's family confusions, fears, and fantasies. The story begins as motherless Amnon ``Nonny'' Feuerberg sits aboard a train that will take him from his home in Jerusalem to Haifa for an extended visit with his uncle, a ``distinguished educator'' and author. Nonny's widowed father, a police detective, wants some time alone with his fretful mistress (and secretary) Gagi—who, Nonny believes, is preparing to dump her undemonstrative and indifferent lover. The overimaginative boy rehearses in his mind conversations he's sure they must be having—and shortly experiences outrageous occurrences that, we gradually realize, are fantasized extensions of things he has half-heard and half- understood. For example, Nonny observes an eerie exchange of identities between a uniformed policeman and the criminal handcuffed to him, then is taken in tow (if not ``kidnapped'') by Felix Glick, a 70ish dandy who identifies himself as a master criminal, brings his young companion to the home of famous actress Lola Ciperola (who, not at all coincidentally, is Gabi's idol), and eventually reveals his own relationship to Nonny's heritage. These picaresque doings are frequently interrupted by Nonny's recall of earlier escapades (such as the time when his dream of becoming ``the first Israeli matador'' led to an embarrassing assault on a neighbor's cow). In piecemeal fashion, this descent into memories and dreams clarifies Nonny's inchoate knowledge of his long-dead beautiful mother: specifically, her tainted past and how it has intensified his desperate need to know who he is (``I was the son of a policeman and a criminal,'' he painfully concludes). Not nearly as much fun as it sounds. Grossman's fifth novel is so arch and opaque that it fails to draw the reader in. By the time we understand the motives behind Nonny's wild inventions, we've stopped caring about him. (First printing of 75,000; author tour) Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF INTIMATE GRAMMAR by David Grossman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

Leitmotifs rather than scenes rule in a new novel of Israeli life by the author of The Smile of the Lamb (1991), etc. Aron Kleinfeld, 12, lives with his mother, father, and older sister in Jerusalem in the months leading toward the Six-Day War. He's waiting for pubic hair, for the mysteries of girls to become clear, for the key to friendship with one particular boy, Gideon, to turn more manageably. He worries about just about everything, alternately shocked by adult amorality (how could his parents warehouse his old grandmother, who'd been living with them, just because she was less than tightly screwed-in upstairs?) while at the same time seeking its advantage. He finds his father's pornographic postcards in a closet and becomes the audience for a real drama of attraction when an unmarried female neighbor asks Aron's father to do some demolition work in her apartment for pay. Aron's canny, fierce mother will not allow the work to occur unchaperoned, and thus Aron spends afternoons dreaming to the sound of his father's sledgehammering and the neighbor's delighted squeals of horror. Like a number of other Israeli novelists, Grossman is, stylistically, Faulkner-haunted (``He followed him up to the school gate, unsure whether to go over and show his face and talk to him as if nothing had happened, so what had, and if God forbid it had, Aron wasn't the one who ought to feel guilty, and there would no longer be any need to ask or hope, but he didn't go over and show his face, he slinked behind from tree to tree...''), but here the adolescent magma mixes with the run-on sentences to produce mostly sludge. Stagy symbolism—the sledgehammering, a section in which Aron's father fashions a girl out of challah dough for his embarrassed son—slows rather than quickens the book. Earnest, but largely a portentous, formless slog. Read full book review >
NONFICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1993

Powerful and persuasive reporting by the author of The Yellow Wind (1988). There, Grossman, a journalist with Israeli radio and TV, offered an extraordinarily insightful analysis of the ambitions and frustrations of Arabs living on Israel's West Bank. Here, in a work of great sensitivity and clarity, he covers the political, economic, and social situations facing Arabs living in Israel proper, revealing in human terms the complex issues that divide and, ironically, also bind Israel's Jewish majority and Arab minority. Interviewing a broad spectrum of Jews and Arabs—activists and academics, patriarchs and professionals—Grossman, a Jewish resident of Jerusalem, focuses on the many inequities that exist within Israeli society. He exposes, for example, the plight of the so-called ``present absentees,'' Palestinians whose lands were confiscated by the Jewish authorities in 1948 but who were not relocated. Today, these people exist in a kind of bureaucratic limbo without services and with few civil rights. In several instances, Grossman records the conversations of Jews and Arabs confronting one another with occasional heat and frequent humor but with surprisingly little bitterness. These transcripts are among the most effective pages here, with Chaim Watzman's translation capturing the distinct voices with immediacy and force. Among the topics discussed are Arab demands for personal autonomy within the Jewish state, and the ambiguities that exist within the varying Israeli definitions—political, ethnic, religious—of ``Jewishness.'' While Grossman's sympathies clearly lie with the Arab minority, he balances his reportage with analyses of the psychological and policy shortcomings of Arab leaders and their adherents. An important and convincing human document, essential reading for those concerned with establishing a just and workable solution to a decades-old conflict. Read full book review >