9780156010894

Five Seasons

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780156010894

  • ISBN10:

    0156010895

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-10-04
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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Summary

In the autumn, Molkho's wife dies and his years of loving attention are ended. But his newfound freedom is filled with the erotic fantasies of a man who must fall in love. Winter sees him away to the operas of Berlin and a comic tryst with a legal advisor who has a sprained ankle. Spring takes him to Galilee and an underage Indian girl. Jerusalem in the summer presents him with an offer from an old classmate to seduce his infertile wife. And the next autumn it is Nina (if only they spoke the same language!), whose yearning for her Russian home leads Molkho back to life. Five Seasons is a finely nuanced, unabashedly realistic novel that provides immense reading pleasure.

Author Biography

One of Israel's preeminent writers, A. B. Yehoshua has been awarded the Israeli Prize, the Koret Jewish Book Award, and the National Jewish Book Award. Born in Jerusalem, he lives in Haifa.

Excerpts

MOLKHO'S WIFE DIED at 4 A.M., and Molkho did his best to mark the moment forever, MOLKHO'S WIFE DIED at 4 A.M., and Molkho did his best to mark the moment forever, because he wished to be able to remember it. And indeed, thinking back on it weeks and even months later, he was convinced that he had managed to refine the instant of her passing (her passing? he wasn't sure the word was right) into something clear and vivid containing not only thought and feeling but also sound and light, such as the maroon glow of the small electric heater, the greenish radiance of the numbers on the digital clock, the yellow shaft of light from the bathroom that cast large shadows in the hallway, and perhaps, too, the color of the sky, a pinkish ivory set off by the deep obscurity around it. He would have liked to think he recalled the dark morning sky because it added a stirring, elemental touch of nature, but he could not be sure of it, any more than he could be of the whisper of the wind and the rain; yet he was certain that there had been music- yes, real music he himself had turned on hesitatingly but convinced that if she wished to hear anything at all as she died, it was the music she had cared for so much in those last months when reading had become such a chore for her. Like the radio operator of a military vehicle heading into battle, she would adjust the small stereo earphones in the dead, painful twilight hours between the visits of her friends, her talks with her children, and her various treatments and pills; choose one of the cassettes by her bedside; and switch on the tape machine. She discussed this music with him and even once hinted that when the end came (so they referred to her death), she would like him to play some of it for her: if he saw it wasn't too much for her, she said, he should let her have music- and he was happy to be able to oblige, for she had trained him well during those last months and he had learned to do exactly as she told him, taking everything with the utmost seriousness. And so now, too, he remembered to flip the switch, though he didn't dare put on the earphones but rather left them dangling by her head as he cranked up the bed, so that from the two pillows came the sound of wind instruments, distant and muffled but assertive, the solemn, aerial flourish of the breathless, staccato hunting horns in the Mahler symphony that he had inserted in the deck three days ago, for though he did not know if its throbbing strains were really the most suitable, he was afraid to surprise her with anything new, no matter how peaceful and simple.It was thus that he remembered the moment of her death, by its exact bars, the repetition of which could recreate at will that final scene in the silence of the night. He had no way of knowing which of the undulating notes had entered her consciousness as she breathed her last, no way (nor did he seek to find one) of telling if she heard them at all. Never taking his eyes off her, ardent with

Excerpted from Five Seasons by A. B. Yehoshua
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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