Ambivalence: Crossing the Israel/Palestine Divide'. This provocative memoir chronicles Garfinkel's travels in Israel and Palestine and his journey away from a Zionist education in Toronto.
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Saqi Books, Beirut, 2008
14 x 21 cm
After a screening of a Palestinian film, he meets a Palestinian woman who tells him about a house in Israel occupied by an Arab and a Jew. The story compels him to travel to Israel and the West Bank in search of the house with the hopes of discovering a truer sense of life in the Middle East. But the address she's given him doesn't exist, and nothing is as simple as it seemed...Bringing to light the complexities of real life as opposed to the religious or political ideal, this memoir questions what it really means to adhere to a culture or faith. Rife with riotous, sometimes surreal comedy, as well as tragic misunderstandings, "Ambivalence" offers a vivid and challenging portrait of life in Israel and Palestine.
'Garfinkel crosses so many intimate borders he should be issued an emotional passport.' Michael Winter'Marvellous. Garfinkel deftly mines what it means to simultaneously belong, disavow, love, and loathe an identity, a culture, and a history. And he does so with artful language and deep feeling ... A must-read.' David Rakoff, author of Don't Get Too Comfortable
Jonathan Garfinkel is a celebrated poet and playwright. Garfinkel's play Blind, about the divided house in Jerusalem, was presented in 2005 at Ottawa's National Arts Centre. His most recent play was The Trials of John Demeniuk: A Holocaust Cabaret. He lives in Toronto.