|Mirie Litvak | Writer & Translator|
On the Books of Mirie Litvak
(Mirie Litvak…) is a skilled observer. She has a keen ear and an eye at ease with new impressions. She has subtle but genial points to make about the world.
Litvak’s strength lies in her insight. She excels in portraying the Israeli… is sensitive to the blunt ethnocentricity of the Israeli male. She stings with delicacy and wisdom when she describes the lack of attentiveness of the ordinary Israeli.
Litvak does not pander to her reader. Her writing is truly authentic, drenched in bodily odors, whiffs of scent and a thousand and one stimuli of all the senses. She is cynical, sometimes sarcastic and bitter.
Litvak’s fiction is an act of revelation, a bridge between cultures. An understanding of the soul in crisis, undergoing the electric shock of personal migration.
She is interested in everything... She expresses the vision of the photographer, ready at any moment to take a snap with the “weapon” she holds in her hand.
Forward, New York
From the lines written by this thoughtful, eccentric woman, the Israelis have learnt about the immigrants and deepened their understanding. Their knowledge of them has crystallized…
Forward, New York
Mirie Litvak’s books are full of those feelings of separation and detachment that accompany the immigrant until they become an integral part of his experience, as though he carries exile around within him.
(Mitie Litvak) is not tempted by cliches, neither of form nor content, and has full control of situations, both casual and intimate. Most impressive is her fine ability to portray the two cities (Tel Aviv and Paris) across which here eye ranges, her excellent psychological grasp of life both there and here.
Her book, “The Sun at One’s Back” is an unusual blend of the erotic and the naïve, the power of invention of a calm free soul, fresh penetrating observation, and a special new way of looking at the world.
This is a book about us, about our new, existential situation.
The general tone is somewhat sad. It is the sombre voice of a woman that recounts the story, sometimes with great intensity and sometimes mild and quiet, with tears about to flow, already flowing, choking one’s throat, filling one’s eyes. The movement of the plot hides behind the everyday nature of the events. like a piece of polyphonic music, the theme fades into the distance, vanishes and reappears. The motif twists and turns, comes back and acquires new and surprising rhythm and purpose.
This is a book which even the busiest of Israelis will find easy to read, even those who hate thick books; it is written in a light style, a language that rouses hope, becomes clear, accessible, understood. And touching.
Every trivial event is a voyage of discovery, every incident, every thought, every happening holds secrets.
She writes of the beauty in ugliness.
Litvak excels in describing the aroma of decay of women.
The last two stories in the book, “The Smell of Vanilla” and “Certain Sex”, present the hidden dynamics that lie behind quite a few of the newspaper accounts of sex crimes in this country.
Where do you get your amazing Hebrew? Accurate, and rich, and elevated, though not too much so.
(From a TV interview on Channel 9)