Frayed Light

Frayed Light

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This poetic collection is an honest and deeply reflective look at life overshadowed by disputed settlements and political upheaval in the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Yonatan Berg is a poet from Israel and the youngest person ever awarded the Yehuda Amichai Poetry Prize. This collection brings together the best poems from his three published collections in Hebrew, deftly translated by Joanna Chen. His poetry recounts his upbringing on an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, and service in a combat unit of the Israeli military, which left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. He grapples with questions of religion and tradition, nationalism, war, and familial relationships. The book also explores his conceptual relationship with Biblical, historical, and literary characters from the history of civilization, set against a backdrop of the Mediterranean landscape. Berg shares an insider's perspective on life in Israel today.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 88 pages
  • 152 x 203 x 7.62mm | 158.76g
  • Middletown, CT, United States
  • English
  • 0819579130
  • 9780819579133
  • 1,234,087

Review quote

Yonatan Berg's first collection of poems to appear in English is Frayed Light, translated by Joanna Chen. Drawing from Berg's three Hebrew books of poetry, Frayed Light offers more than just English renditions of the poems. This unique selection tells the story of Berg's development as a poet. As the book moves from reflections on personal experience to imagining the lives of others, we witness the maturing poet turning his gaze outwards, away from himself, as he is drawn backwards, into history.--Lonnie Monka, The Tel Aviv Review of Books

Frayed Light offers readers both a poetic journey and new ways in which to think about the tension between innocence and experience, while enacting what it means to hold one's deepest beliefs up to an inquiring light. Poets must work within the limits of language, yet one senses in these poems that what Berg is seeking in his explorations is a bridge, an intimacy that will overcome barriers of language, religion, and otherness itself.--Janice Weizman, World Literature Today

Frayed Light frames a slice of Israeli life rarely encountered by outsiders. The poems, originally written in Hebrew, come across beautifully in Joanna Chen's exquisite translations.--Gwen Ackerman, Rain Taxi Review of Books
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About Yonatan Berg

Yonatan Berg is the winner of the Minister of Culture Prize and the Prime Ministers Writer's Prize, and has received fellowships from the Rothschild Foundation and The National Library of Israel, among others. He has published three books of poetry, one memoir, and the prize-winning novel, Five More Minutes, all in Hebrew. Joanna Chen is a literary translator and essayist. Her work has been published in Guernica, Poet Lore, Narratively, and Newsweek, among others. Her translations have been published in Poetry International, Consequence, Mantis, and many more. Her translation of Agi Mishol's Less Like a Dove. She is currently translating Meir Shalev's My Wild Garden. She writes a column for The Los Angeles Review of Books.
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Rating details

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