Be My Knife
David Grossman; Translated from the Hebrew by Vered Almog and Maya Gurantz
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On Sale: 04/19/2003
ISBN: 9780312421472320 Pages
The international bestseller: a compelling love story from the leading Israeli novelist of his generation
"We could be like two people who inject themselves with truth serum, and at long last have to tell it--the truth. I want to be able to say to myself, 'I bled truth with her,' yes, that's what I want. Be a knife for me, and I, I swear, will be a knife for you."
An awkward, neurotic seller of rare books writes a desperate letter to a beautiful stranger whom he sees at a class reunion. This simple, lonely attempt at seduction begins a love affair of words between Yair and Miriam, two married, middle-aged adults, dissatisfied with their lives, yearning for the connection that has always eluded them--and, eventually, reawakened to feelings that they thought had passed them by. Their correspondence unfolds into an exchange of their most naked confessions: of desire, childhood tragedies, joys, and humiliations.
Through the dialogue between Yair--a family man and surprisingly successful adulterer, whose complex, guarded letters reveal a life of secrets kept from the people closest to him--and Miriam, at first deceptively open and warm, who fills her life with distraction to avoid a past full of painful secrets, Be My Knife explores the nature and the limits of intimacy.
A deep departure from David Grossman's previous work, Be My Knife is his subtlest, most passionate novel yet.
Be My Knife
You don't know me. When I write to you I don't know myself very well, either. I tried not to write, I did, I've tried for two days, but now I've broken down.
I saw you at the class...
Praise for Be My Knife
“A transformative work of art...As the love affair moves toward its denouement certain passages demand to be reread, as if one can't believe the pure, intuitive truth they contain.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Be My Knife may be the strangest, saddest love story ever told...exciting...exquisite [and] piercingly sad.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A beautiful and searing book...Grossman's prose is bewitching....Be My Knife starts as a slow, lyrical work, then draws the reader into Yair and Miriam's compulsions. For Grossman, love is as an obsession, a consuming and searing mirage, where lovers reveal what is raw and painful.” —The Denver Post