O Israel O Palestine
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Other Editions of This Title:
Glad Day, 9781930180147, 176pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 2005
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
- In the beginning of the novel, how would you describe Liana's feelings and attitude towards her mother? How do Liana's feelings about her mother change during the course of the novel?
- How does the author use the physical geography of Israel as it relates to Liana's own personal growth? How do the rough and raw territories of pre-1967 Jerusalem play a role, reflecting Liana's inner battles? What is the significance of all the geographical boundaries or lack of boundaries of her mother's land?
- Why do you think Skolkin-Smith chose to make Liana's lover an American diplomat?
- After William leaves Liana, she decides to return to her mother and Jerusalem. Why doesn't she go to the police station to report the Arab boy's death in the forest? What does she fear? What does this tell us about her inner conflicts as well as the conflicts of the larger war?
- In Edges, history plays a large role in determining the fate of the novel's characters. How does learning about Liana's mother's past activities in the Jewish underground change Liana's own fate? Does Liana find herself emulating her mother and wanting to be like the other "wild women of the Haganah"? Consider how history has also affected the fates of the other characters in the book -- Liana's mother, William, and the Silberfelds.
- In what ways does the setting of the novel in a pre-1967 Israel/Palestine contribute to the reader's understanding of contemporary conflicts between the Israelis and Palestinians? Did the time period in which the novel was set, allow for a broader context from which to understand these present-day conflicts?
- What does Liana really mean when she says: "But it was my country this body, I thought. The only power I will ever have." Does this refer to a feeling of her helplessness in the face of outside political tensions which she can not change or affect?
- Several times, the novel alludes to the difference between the Jewish underground's battle for Independence from the British Empire in the 1940's and the current border conflicts between Israel and Arab Palestinians in the 1960's, reaching into present day crises. How would you characterize the main differences in these conflicts? Does the novel show the genesis of present-day conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians? How does the mention and explanation of the first border wars over the water supply add to our understanding of conflicts between Israel and Palestine today?
- Why does the author describe the shooting of the innocent Arab boy in the tree as a misfire between soldiers from both sides of the wider political canvas and conflict? What does the Arab boy-child symbolize?
- What universal truths about mother and daughters allows this novel to be read not just a story about Israel, but a story which a reader can enter from a more personal place of empathy, thereby transcending national identity?
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