Published: February 2018
Naor, a young filmmaker, is driving with his mother. He tells her about being in Tel Aviv after a recent evacuation.
Everyone else has fled, except for Naor and Yaël, his artist girlfriend, and Saba, his grandfather, who is a writer. The occasional missile explodes nearby. But Saba refuses to leave the place he loves. And Yaël has her own secret aspirations.
In defiance of the war, they scavenge an existence and explore the mysteries of their beloved city--until the unthinkable happens.
In Evacuation, a novel of suspense, a profound tale about our choices under pressure, about love, for each other and for a place, about death, and about finding a way to peace, Raphaël Jerusalmy is at the height of his powers.
When everything was ready, Yaël went over and leaned against the roof railing. Saba practised saying his lines about ten times. But, there you go, that night there was no air-raid. Yaël and Saba asked me to film anyway. They were cross when I said no. I had to explain to them that, in the absence of any bombing, there was not enough light.
Raphaël Jerusalmyholds degrees from the École Normale Supérieure and the Sorbonne. He made his career in the Israeli military intelligence services before working in the humanitarian and educational fields. He is now a novelist and antiquarian book dealer in Tel Aviv. His first novel, Saving Mozart, is also published by Text.
Penny Huestonhas translated novels by Marie Darrieussecq, Patrick Modiano and Sarah Cohen-Scali.
'In this marvellous book, Raphael Jerusalmy shows us that, despite the destructive madness of men, a few beautiful spirits, angel-poets, will always remain.' Le Monde
'An elegant examination of the choices we make and the individual peace we seek...Evacuationis a short but meaningful voyage of discovery, an Israeli road trip packed with musings on war, love, death, and art.' AU Review
'Like the famous photograph of the string quartet amid the ruins of Sarajevo, his [Jerusalmy's] book celebrates the persistence of art in times of chaos, and like another recent novella of the Middle East, Mohsin Hamid's Exit West, it combines a jolting realism with the timeless quality of fables.' Age
'A bright, light-struck novel...Jerusalmy reveals all the strangeness of an emblematic place torn by political, artistic and religious currents. It is a crisp and oddly memorable book.' Your Weekend
'A gently observed and deeply felt tale of three disparate characters living through unusual times.' Pile by the Bed
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