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My review of Eva Figes' Journey To Nowhere: One Woman Looks for the Promised Land is in the Telegraph today.


The review begins:


Eva Figes wrote Journey to Nowhere as a grandmother. Her head was "full of stories about the past" that were forced to the surface by the impertinent questions of her grandchildren, whose function, she suggests, is to draw such forgotten, forbidden tales into the light.

So, here is a memoir of Edith, the orphan housemaid of Figes's childhood, coupled with a polemic against Israel.

Although herself a secular Jew, Figes shares the view held by some of the ultra-Orthodox that the Jewish state should never have been created: "I do not think there was ever a time when I did not think that the creation of Israel was a historic mistake."

All nation states have founding myths, stories about the past that need unearthing and investigating, but the idea that Palestine was "a land without people for a people without land" was particularly questionable (more...)

Tomorrow, I have two very small (160 word) "At a Glance" reviews in the Sunday Times. Sadly, I kinda hated both the books I was asked to comment on. David James Smith's One Morning In Sarajevo was scrappy and The Book of Dead Philosophers no more than a miscellany. I was hugely disappointed by the latter as I'm normally a pretty big fan of author Simon Critchley.

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