Book Talk and -Signing: “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem: Intergenerational Tension, Forbidden Love & Questions of Identity in 20th Century Israel –11/7 at 8 p.m.

The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem: Intergenerational Tension, Forbidden Love and Questions of Identity in 20th Century Israel will conclude the series Contemporary Israeli Voices, 2016. Sarit Yisha-Levi’s first novel The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, became a best seller in Israel, received the Publisher’s Association’s Gold and Platinum Prizes in 2014 as well as the Steimatzky Prize for the best-selling book of the year (2014). Recently, it was also made into a feature film. The author’s Sephardic family living in Jerusalem for seven generations, inspired this novel.

Here is a short description taken from the Institute for the translation of Hebrew Literature.

This Israeli bestseller is a multi-generational saga of Jerusalem, extending from the early 20th century when the Turks ruled Palestine, through the years of the British Mandate and the establishment of the State of Israel, to the early 1970s. It is the story of the Ermoza family, respected Sephardic Jews who own a delicatessen in the Jerusalem market. The narrator is Gabriela, the wild, rebellious daughter of Luna, known as “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem.” Gabriela gradually reveals the family secrets and lies, but mainly the inner strengths that family members have to summon in order to overcome the ups and downs of life along the way.

The novel received enthusiastic reviews such as:

Exquisitely rich in history and detail… Poignant and intriguing book.  Historical Novel Society

Fans of Gabriel Garcia Marquez will find much to love in “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem.”  The narrative is lush and rife with scandalous secrets of a passionately opinionated family that might find it easier to free themselves from the clutches of war, than from the Ermoza curse inflicted upon them. The Jewish Journal

Passion and the grand sweep of history permeate this dazzling you-cannot-put-it-down novel about four generations of astonishing women–and the men in their family who just might be cursed by love. So rich and vibrant, that every page seems to virtually breathe.  Author Caroline Leavitt 

The event will take place on Monday, November 7 at 8PM at Russell House. All are welcome. A reception and book signing will follow.

Sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies