The pain of two homelands: Immigration to Israel in twenty-first century Hebrew prose fiction

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Abstract

The article explores the conceptualization of immigration to Israel by two twenty-first century Hebrew novelists. Unlike the prose fiction of previous decades, which deals with immigration in terms of aliyah, whether aspiring to the ideal of the "melting pot" or criticizing it, that of Alona Kimhi, a woman immigrant from the former USSR, and Sami Berdugo, a son of North African immigrants, is best considered in terms of minority literature. Both writers depict characters whose attitude toward integration in the mainstream Israeli culture is deeply and painfully ambivalent and skillfully use Hebrew-broken and idiosyncratic in Berdugo's case, rich and fluent in Kimhi's- to subvert the idea of an integral national collective whose common language it is supposed to be.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-331
Number of pages17
JournalHebrew Studies
Volume56
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

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