Leading Israeli novelist David Grossman gives us the story of the greatest and most universal tragedy, the loss of the world of childhood. At twelve, Aron Kleinfeld is the ringleader among the boys in his Jerusalem neighborhood, their inspiration in dreaming up games and adventures. But as his friends begin to mature, Aron remains imprisoned for three long years in the body of a child. While Israel inches toward the Six-Day War, and the voices of his friends change and become strange to him, Aron lives in his child body as though in a nightmare. Like a spy in enemy territory, he learns to decipher the internal codes of sexuality and desire, to understand the unyielding bureaucracy of the human body. Hurled between childhood and adulthood, between the pure and the profane, he is like a volcano of emotions and impulses. But, like his hero Houdini, Aron still struggles to escape from the trap of growing up.
The Book of Intimate Grammar is about the alchemy of childhood, which transforms loneliness and fear into creation, and about the struggle to emerge an artist. Funny, painful, and passionate, it is a work of enormous intensity and beauty.