Israeli Mythogynies

Women in Contemporary Hebrew Fiction

By Esther Fuchs

Subjects: Israel Studies
Series: SUNY series in Modern Jewish Literature and Culture
Paperback : 9780887064180, 192 pages, July 1987
Hardcover : 9780887064173, 192 pages, July 1987

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Table of contents


Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. The Generation of Statehood

Gyniconological Transformations and Continuities

The Female Other as National Enemy

Chapter 3. A. B. Yehoshua: The Lack of Consciousness

Yehoshua's Belle Dame Sans Merci

The Inaccessible Wife


Chapter 4. Amos Oz: The Lack of Conscience

Where the Jackals Howl: Woman as Sex

Elsewhere Perhaps: Amos Oz's Gyniconology and National Otherness

My Michael: Woman as Political Enemy


Chapter 5. Gynographic Re-visions: Amalia Kahana-Carmon

The Woman Author as Other

Under One Roof: The Antiromantic Romantic Story

Chapter 6. Self-Conscious Heroism: And Moon in the Valley of Ajalon

The Desire to Be at the Top

The Female Predicament

Noa Talmor and Hana Gonen: A Female-Authored Heroine Meets Her Male-Authored Counterpart

Toward a Conclusion: The Woman Author as Other




This book is the first to systematically examine the representation of women by mainstream Hebrew authors from the Palmah Generation to the New Wave. Fuchs' unique analytical method exposes the male-centered bias which often inspires the works of such prominent and widely translated authors as S. Yizhar, Moshe Shamir, A. B. Yehoshua and Amos Oz. She exposes both the continuities and the transformations in the literary representations of women and explains them in innovative ways, grounded in aesthetic, social, political, and cultural conditions and ideologies.

The bold and unexpected discoveries offered by this book illuminate the complex ways in which Israel's political predicaments, for example, affect the representation of women, as well as the various ways in which Israeli literature uses female images to express the anxiety and frustration arising from these predicaments. This pioneering study will be invaluable to feminist literary critics, scholars, and teachers and students of modern Hebrew literature.

Esther Fuchs is Associate Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature in the Department of Oriental Studies at the University of Arizona, Tuscon.


"What I like most about this book is the new perspective on the subject. The topic is indeed central to the study of modern Hebrew literature because it supplies a perspective that is absent in contemporary criticism of Israeli fiction, demonstrates a serious imbalance in fiction and criticism alike, and presents a challenge to which writers and critics must respond. " — Miri Amihai, Cornell University