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“Written like a sonata… An amusing and intimate novel.” Le Monde
“A superb family novel, remarkably moving and engaging.” Le Soir
“Sakal is one of Tel Aviv’s most promising writers. Behind the richly layered family story lies an extraordinarily subtle portrait of Israeli society.” Radio France Inter
“A journey into himself”, Haaretz 03.04.2011:
“Yolanda is a fine work of portraits of loved ones. Moshe Sakal loves his characters even when he exposes them in their psychological and physical nakedness, and it is hard for us not to love them ourselves, despite all their violence, racism, miserliness and suspicion.” Read more (English) : click here
By writer and translator Reuven Miran, Haaretz, Book Week Edition, June 2011:
“Yolanda is a novel that surges with emotion, exuding a love of life and empathy for its characters, even if they are not all paragons of virtue. In this tediously post-modern age, it is a breath of fresh air for the soul in the emotionless wasteland in which we live. Moshe Sakal’s story is a captivating and colorful human mosaic populated by characters from different cultures and different times who nevertheless are joined together by the unbreakable bond of family. Against the background of eastern Mediterranean landscapes and an Israel seeking an identity, the figure of the narrator emerges, his identity formed from a rich blend of East and West…Displaying emotional wisdom, the narrator reveals to us the story of the birth and shaping of his identity, which is the inevitable product of his cultural, social, and personal roots. At one with himself, loving and loved, he feels an integral part of a timeless human and cultural fabric – but not at the cost of his personal freedom.”
By Benny Ziffer, Haaretz, editor, Culture & Literature: March 4, 2011:
…even if the recent events inEgypt had never occurred, Yolanda is clearly a book with a subversive undercurrent from a literary perspective. This is a book that is combating those attempts of late to break, shatter and deconstruct fiction; it is trying in its unique way to restore the crown to the hero of the realistic novel…by returning to literary sources — to Proust, to Flaubert and to Balzac….
Walla, Israeli website (one of the most popular portals in Israel), March 2011:
…with a delicate humor that is nothing less than disarming, Sakal not only grapples with ponderous themes such as rejection, sexuality and death but also implants the literary heritage of Paris upon the Mediterranean shores of Tel Aviv.
By Moti Fogel, the City Mouse (Israeli Guide), March 2011:
Like any semibiographical novel, Yolanda too deals with the relationship between literature and life. With this novel, however, we more correctly can say that it deals with the relationship between necessary truth and voluntary fabrication. By dealing with several planes of reality, Sakal undermines one of the basic premises of the genre: that of familial destiny. Sakal continuously confronts biological compulsion with free choice; true history with invented history.
By Yotam Swimmer, Ynet:
Sakal presents us with a marvelous work in its linguistic and cultural modes of expression…Yolanda is a paean to the ongoing dialogue we conduct in our lives with the environment, even when we are secluded in a small room…more than anything else, Yolanda is a good story…one you read with bated breath…there’s no doubt that this is a successful, convincing and rich book.
by Eyal Rabi Zafran, Reshet bet radio program:
First and foremost, this book speaks about unqualified respect and love between a true grandmother, Yolanda, and her grandson Momo, who knows how to reciprocate her love and respect…many of us will recognize stories and anecdotes in it that remind us a bit of our own families, and perhaps will even evoke some regret about a generation that is disappearing and the stories that have vanished along with it…You will find Yolanda, a Hebrew book in the full sense of the term, a pleasure to read.
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