Isra Isle

Isra Isle

( Hebrew - אישראל ) ( orig. 2005 )

novel by Nava Semel

translated by Jessica Cohen

Published: Mandel Vilar Press - trade paperback - 2016
ISBN:1942134193 / 9781942134190

Mandel Vilar Press - e-book - 2016
eISBN: 1942134207 / 9781942134206

Before Theodore Herzl there was Mordecai Manuel Noah, an American journalist, diplomat, playwright, and visionary. In September 1825 he bought Grand Island, downriver from Niagara Falls, from the local Native Americans as a place of refuge for the Jewish people and called it “Ararat.” But no Jews came. What if they had followed Noah’s call? In Nava Semel’s alternate history Jews from throughout the world flee persecution and come to Ararat. Isra Isle becomes the smallest state in the US. Israel does not exist, and there was no Holocaust. In exploring this what-if scenario, Semel stimulates new thinking about memory, Jewish/Israeli identity, attitudes toward minorities, women in top political positions, and the place of cultural heritage.

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