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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Smile of the Lamb

The Smile of the Lamb

A Novel

David Grossman; Translated by Betsy Rosenberg



In a chorus of voices David Grossman's The Smile of the Lamb tells the story of Uri, an idealistic young Israeli soldier serving in an army unit in the small Palestinian village of Andal, in the occupied territories, and his relationship with Khilmi, a nearly blind old Palestinian storyteller. Gradually as the violent reality of the occupation that infects both the occupier and the occupied alike merges with the old man's stories, Uri, captivated by Khilmi's wisdom, tries to solve the riddles and deceits that make up his life.

Originally published in Hebrew in 1983, The Smile of the Lamb is a novel of disillusionment and a piercing examination of injustice and dishonesty.

The Smile of the Lamb

No, no, believe me, Khilmi, I made them up, all of them. Shosh, the woman I loved, the woman I left three days ago, and Katzman in Italy, and that boy who died of love, whose name I never knew....

Praise for The Smile of the Lamb

“Together with See Under: Love, and his heartfelt The Yellow Wind, these three books form a trilogy by Israel's finest young writer.” —The New York Times

“A brilliantly constructed, hair-raising exploration of the ‘morphology of lies' in the inextricably linked personal and political worlds of Israel.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Grossman is more than just another talented writer: Like Vaclav Havel, he is a moralist, a man with a conscience whose words cry out for absolute truth and fairness.” —Newsday (New York)

“[The Smile of the Lamb] is prophetic. A book which compels the heart and the imagination, as well as the mind.” —Los Angeles Times

Reviews from Goodreads

David Grossman; Translated by Betsy Rosenberg

David Grossman is the author of books of journalism, several children's books, a play, and several novels, including Be My Knife and his essay collection, Death as a Way of Life: Ten Years After Oslo. He lives in Jerusalem.

David Grossman


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