The Retrospective (Hardcover)

By A. B. Yehoshua

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780547496962, 352pp.

Publication Date: March 5, 2013

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (3/25/2014)
Paperback (2/1/2013)

List Price: 26.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Winner, Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger

An aging Israeli film director has been invited to the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela for a retrospective of his work. When Yair Moses and Ruth, his leading actress and longtime muse, settle into their hotel room, a painting over their bed triggers a distant memory in Moses from one of his early films: a scene that caused a rift with his brilliant but difficult screenwriter—who, as it happens, was once Ruth’s lover. Upon their return to Israel, Moses decides to travel to the south to look for his elusive former partner and propose a new collaboration. But the screenwriter demands a price for it that will have strange and lasting consequences.

A searching and original novel by one of the world’s most esteemed writers, The Retrospective is a meditation on mortality and intimacy, on the limits of memory and the struggle of artistic creation.

About the Author

A. B. YEHOSHUA is the author of numerous novels, including Mr. Mani, Five Seasons, The Liberated Bride, and A Woman in Jerusalem. His work has been translated into twenty-eight languages, and he has received many awards worldwide, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Jewish Book Award. He lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Praise For The Retrospective

"Yehoshua's intelligent and refined novel. . . about an aging Israeli director reviewing both his films and his life. . . recalls once again Faulkner's famous dictum that 'the past isn't dead. It isn't even past.'"
Kirkus (starred review)

"Fascinating...beautiful."-Ha'ir, Israel

"An ambitious, engrossing, playfully testamentary novel" -- Moment

"With beautiful wordsmanship, Yehoshua entangles dignity and humiliation, repugnance and rapture, showing us how difficult they become to distinguish." --Booklist

“In his inimitable style, Yehoshua crafts a powerful allegory of modern Israeli Jewish identity.” – Ha’aretz

"A study of the contested sources of Israeli identity" -- Tablet

"Resolutely realistic" -- The Los Angeles Review of Books

"Yehoshua delivers a stunning explanation of the ethics of art...A fluid and absorbing novel of ideas; highly recommended." -- Library Journal, starred

"An elegant and graceful translation...intelligent and refined." -- Kirkus, starred

"Richly plotted" -- The Jewish Week

"Yehoshua is one of Israel’s most highly acclaimed writers, and ‘The Retrospective’ showcases the author at his finest. He offers a compelling study of character, and a powerful meditation on personal pain and loss, memory, regret, and atonement….a carefully observed portrait of a country in a perpetual state of conflict." -The Jewish Daily Forward

"Filled with detailed and realistic descriptions even as myth and memory are explored, The Retrospective is deeply satisfying, rich sto- rytelling from this outstand- ing Israeli writer." -- The Chicago Jewish Star

"Achieves an autumnal tone as he ruminates on memory’s slippery hold on life and on art." -- The New Yorker