YOSEF HAIM BRENNER (1881-1921) published his first story
in 1900. He escaped from the Russian army to London where he worked as a typesetter and editor. He immigrated to Palestine in 1909, and was killed by Arab rioters in 1921.
Essayist, critic, commentator, translator, novelist and poet, Brenner was the most prominent literary figure in Pre-State Israel in his day, and in effect shifted the center of Hebrew literary activities away from Europe.
An ardent Zionist who passionately encouraged immigration, he was a pessimist by nature. His prose nonetheless professes a belief in artistic truth where all other faith has failed.
Breakdown and Bereavement is set in a Jewish settlement in Palestine in the years before World War I, when the tragic pattern of Arab-Jewish relations was taking shape. The hero, Hefetz, is
a typical Brenner character, a wanderer in search of a spiritual homeland.
Translated and with an introduction by Hillel Halkin.