The Debba – Avner Mandelman

David is returning to Israel.  He just received word that his father was attacked in his shoe store where he makes custom shoes as well as repairs,  has died.  When he returns to the country he has known for most of his life,  given up his citizenship for because of bad memories and experiences.

There is a catch with his fathers will.

David doesn’t want to be in Israel for many reasons.  Strange things start to happen once he arrives, his bad nightmares return with force.  The history of the country he gave up on, his experiences in the Army, his father’s experiences throughout his life.

In his father’s will, there is a stipulation that David must produce a play that his father wrote which could turn violent, while dredging up a lot of the past that he has tried so hard to forget – as well as the people of his country have suffered, and of course the real reason why he is there.

I really enjoyed this novel.  In a place where so much has happened, so much conflict in the past as well as the present between the Israelites, The Jews, and the Arabs.

Avner incorporates the grim reality of living in the area, some laughter, personal reflections into a gripping suspenseful novel that will have you turning each page and devouring every word.

The Debba was long listed for the 2010 Giller Prize

Random House – Other Press

Avner’s Website


One thought on “The Debba – Avner Mandelman

  1. I enjoyed this story very much myself, especially the fact that it covered more of the history of modern Israel than just the present. I liked it much more than The Sentimentalists (the Giller winner) and Santuary Line (another nominee). Thanks for your thoughts on it.

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