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The Last Interview Eshkol Nevo

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Eshkol Nevo Is A Fascinating Storyteller Who Gives The Reader A Broad And Diverse Picture Of Israeli Society Amos Oz

A Conversation with Eshkol Nevo, Author of The Last Interview

The Last Interview , by the exceptionally insightful Eshkol Nevo, is a haunting investigation into the stories we tell ourselves and others, and how the stories we have lived become our realities and inform our futures.

The narrator walks a thin line between truth and lie, fiction and fact, often conflating the two, doubling back when he realizes that he may be harming those he loves in his desperate quest for his next great story. When your family and friends become characters, your most impactful life events become plot twists, and your personal guilt becomes internal conflict. What is to stop you from baring your soul to anyone who will read it? Apparently, nothing, since the unnamed protagonist decides to reply to a set of submitted interview questions with utmost honesty, even as it brings his own true history to light and reveals the deep fault lines in his relationships with family, friends and sense of self.

The protagonist is a well-regarded Israeli writer, mildly famous yet fiercely insecure. He is married and has three children, is university-educated and a veteran of the army, and sometimes tours to promote and speak about his latest work. All might seem peaceful and successful on the surface, but unhappiness hides beneath the facade.

The Last Interview By Eshkol Nevo

Trans. Sondra Silverston. New York. Other Press. 2020. 461 pages.

UNCONVENTIONAL ISRAELI writer Eshkol Nevo, the author of several prizewinning novels, has found a new way of reinventing himself with his latest book, The Last Interview. Writers-block anxiety or pure stratagem? He chooses to answer questions submitted to him by an unnamed internet interviewer. The narrator himself is not named, and though he insists the novel is not autobiographical, he shares many traits with the author. They both are mature writers, conducting writing workshops, of which the readers can get a glimpse. They both discuss their books with high school students inside the country, and with readers abroad. Both are married with three children, and their grandfather was Levi Eshkol, the third prime minister of Israel, after whom the writer is named. Even though the narrator insists nothing is true in the book, sometimes his experiences seem to really be those of Nevo himself, the relentless story-hunter and story-teller, who will use any tales overheard on public transportation, or any of his immediate entourages experiences, and turn them into well-constructed stories.

The Last Interview, in spite of its Q& A format, is a seamless page-turner that was nominated for the Prix Femina étranger 2020.

Dinah Assouline Stillman

Rise To National Political Career

During the time of mass immigration to the State of Israel , Eshkol headed the Settlement Department in the Jewish Agency, where he first proposed the idea of settling a good number of these immigrants upon newly founded agricultural farms, in order to solve their housing dilemma. He is noted as saying, “We didn’t know exactly what to do with these Jews. Then we interjected from the counsels of our heart, and from the experience that we had amassed thus far, and said: A desolate country, a desolate people these two things must cause one another to blossom. From this, the idea was born to launch an extensive agricultural settlement operation and absorb a large part of the immigrants.” Eshkol was elected to the Knesset in 1951 as a member of Mapai party. He served as Minister of Agriculture until 1952.

In the 1959 legislative election, Eshkol coordinated Mapai’s national campaign with the local party branches. He was also appointed as chairman of the party’s committee on social affairs. As internal party tension was growing due to the Lavon Affair, Eshkol was asked to serve as an arbitrator.

In 1961, Ben-Gurion asked to retire as prime minister and recommended Eshkol as his successor. However, Mapai made Ben-Gurion stay. Ben-Gurion continued to lead Mapai in the 1961 legislative election but struggled to form a coalition and relied on Eshkol’s negotiations with rival parties.

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Review Of The Last Interview By Eshkol Nevo

The protagonist of The Last Interview by Eshkol Nevo, translated by Sondra Silverston was supposed to be writing a novel, but instead he is answering a very long interview sent to him by the editor of a website. Faced with the typical questions given to a novelist, such as Did you always know you would be a writer? the unnamed protagonist decides to answer each and every question truthfully, with nothing held back.

Answer by answer we learn more about his life, about his broken marriage and his daughter who has run away from home. About his ongoing war with dysthymia and his chronic low-grade feeling of depression. About his childhood friend who has disappeared, and much more. Family and friends play a huge role in these answers and, as he keeps on writing, what was intended as a simple, but in-depth interview becomes a story itself. Not only that, the protagonist realizes that he has no idea where this story will end.

How autobiographical are your books? is one of the questions.

The readers of the protagonists novels want to know what is real, and what isnt in his books. By asking this question, readers show that they are determined to get to the biographical core of the book, based on the erroneous assumption that it will help them understand it.

A Struggle To Hold Onto Family And Friends

Book Review âThe Last Interviewâ? by Eshkol Nevo

He worries that he is losing everything he holds most dear his marriage has grown detached and tense his eldest child chose boarding school and thus left him feeling acutely betrayed and of his old friends, one has been missing for years, and another is hospitalized with cancer. As for himself, he struggles with dysthymia, a mood disorder that leaves him in a perpetual depressive state, in addition to actual and fantasized infidelity and gnawing guilt around his various writings and their social and political influence.

He has a lot to unpack, and over the course of this series of interview questions he tells his story not a story, not a bestseller, but the sometimes heartbreaking and always provocative account of a real life lived.

The protagonist certainly has his faults, and both he and the reader become increasingly aware of them as the interview progresses. A decidedly unreliable narrator, his answers do not always stick to the question at hand sometimes his response seems almost irrelevant and evasive, though, as his context and personal history unfold, they all fall into place as crucial moments that have collectively determined his trajectory and choices.

Almost equally terrifying is his daughter Shiras rejection of him and the looming death of his close friend Ari. It truly seems that everyone he loves has abandoned or will abandon him while he watches and waits, helpless and hurt.

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The Last Interview By Eshkol Nevo Translated By Sondra Silverston

*STARRED REVIEWInternationally bestselling author Eshkol Nevo and award-winning translator Sondra Silverston are five-for-five in enabling Anglophone readers seamless access to Nevos engrossing novels. Reminiscent of the retired judge in his last title, Three Floors Up , who communicated with her dead husband via answering-machine messages, Nevo again creates another inventive structure to tell a story: an internet-site editor contacts a writer with web-collected questions he agrees to answer. This whole interview to confess the truth is an attempt to deal with writers block in a different text, the writer reveals. The queries begin with the mundane Did you always know you would be a writer? and quickly progress to the intimate, even inappropriate, yet the writer never refuses an answer, albeit not always offering the answer.

A narrative emerges of a peripatetic Israeli writer who returns from a book event in Colombia and confesses a tryst to his no-longer-sleeping wife. While that relationship implodes, the writer reveals other significant emotional disintegrations involving his estranged teenage daughter, his cancer-debilitated best friend, and his missing-for-decades other best friend. And then theres his writing .

With just enough autobiographical details interwoven to keep readers fixated, Nevos latest is a clever, delightfully unreliable, occasionally head-shaking, sometimes eye-rolling portrait of an artist as a not-at-all-young man.

The Flaw In Editing Your Lived Experience

In his answers to each question, he continues to cling to his lifeline: writing. As everything around him slips away, he gets to keep his memories, releasing them and reckoning with them in the process of his storytelling.

But this interview isnt just another book, another way for him to translate his personal life into fiction while simply switching out some names and dramatizing chance encounters. In this The Last Interview excels Nevo the writer, composing a novel about a writer who confesses every difficult truth now that he has finally grown tired of stories and lies.

The layers cause readers to question how their own memories, self-deception and behavior in relationships have determined their current realities. What lies have we all told in order to feel that our stories are worth the telling, or our lives worthy of love? And how can we find redemption even in the eyes of that harshest of audiences ourselves?

About Eshkol Nevo:

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Eshkol Nevothe Last Interview

Oct 20th, 2020 by

If I dont write, I have nowhere to put my memories, and thats dangerous. I have a problem. I dont forget anything. My forgetting mechanism is completely screwed up. All the partings, the deaths, the unexploited opportunities. They are all trapped in my body, and writing is the only way to release them.If I dont occasionally unburden myself I wont be able to breathe.

The Witches Market in La Paz, Bolivia

The Azrieli Tower in Tel Aviv, which the speaker sees from a rooftop.

Eretz Israel Museum Complex

Zorba the Greek, from the film starring Anthony Quinn

With many references to entertainers throughout the novel, it is no surprise that Zorba the Greek becomes almost an icon later in the novel. After finding the book in his grandfathers collection, the speaker read it with delight long ago, especially for Zorbas philosophy: To be alive is to look for trouble! Zorba says. There is a devil inside me and hes shouting. And I do what he says, a way of life that the speaker is not yet ready for when he first reads it. Later, he comes to new conclusions epitomized in this book deciding not to edit, rewrite, rethink, or embellish anything in it. Filled with insights into life in Israel, life within his family, and life within himself, the author has created a unique look at the writing life and what it means to at least one author, what he has given up for it, and what he hopes to regain from taking it back. Truly unique.

Political And Military Activity 194049

EÅ¡kol Nevo v OtaznÃcÃch Michaela Žantovského | Eshkol Nevo in Question Marks of Michael Žantovský

Eshkol returned to serve in the Haganah high command from 1940 to 1948 and was in charge of the organization’s treasury. He engaged in arms acquisition for the Haganah prior to and during the 1948 ArabIsraeli War.

Between 1942 and 1944, Eshkol served as Secretary General of Mapai.

During the Second World War Eshkol advocated for Jewish enrollment to the British military. However, he confirmed with the Yishuv‘s leadership and later joined the ideology asserting differentiation between the global front and the local front, fighting against the British Mandate. In 194546 Eshkol was representative of Haganah in the leadership of the Jewish Resistance Movement.

In 1944 he was appointed as the Secretary General of Tel Aviv Workers’ Council, remaining in this position until 1948.

In 1947 Eshkol was appointed as a member of the two major defense forums: The Negev Committee that oversaw the administration of the Negev prior to the declaration of independence of Israel, as well as the general Defense Committee of the Yishuv’s leadership. Later that year, he was appointed by David Ben-Gurion to head the national recruitment center, which laid foundations to the formation of Israel Defense Forces upon independence of the State of Israel, in May 1948, at which point Eshkol was appointed Director-General of the Ministry of Defense, serving from May 1948 to January 1949.

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The Last Interview: A Novel

Eshkol Nevo, Sondra Silverston

Eshkol Nevos previous novels, all bestsellers in his native Israel, affectionately and acerbically capture the universal intricacies of family life. Though never drifting too far from this enduring theme, The Last Interview is at once both Nevos most artistically audacious and perhaps his most personal book to date. A genre-busting narrative in the best sense, the novel is structured as a wide-ranging interview that initially reads as a parody of the entire convention of boilerplate author Q& As but rapidly evolves into a disquieting examination of the protagonists soul as one disturbing revelation leads to the next. The result is intellectually exhilarating and often terrifically moving.

Though long appreciated for his empathic and complex portrayals of the lives of women , especially their richly imagined inner worlds, Nevos most abiding concern in many works seems to be the sustaining nature of male friendships. In The Last Interview, the protagonists relationship with a childhood friend dying of cancer is particularly moving and ultimately provides the most satisfying thread in this tapestry of interconnected thoughts. Throughout, there is a pervasive sense of a writer at the height of his powers taking stock of both himself and his countrys soul.

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