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The Flying Camel and The Golden Hump by Aharon Megged

Paperback: ISBN: 978 1 59264 196 3 Pages: c.250 US$14.95 UK£9.99 CANADA $14.95
Publication date: November 2007

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A merciless literary critic may seem like a demonic figure to a writer anxiously awaiting the ultimate critical review of his work. Such is the plight of Kalman Keren, a writer who lives in an apartment building in Tel Aviv. When Keren notices Professor Shatz coming up the stairs of his building he almost goes into shock. Shatz is the hated literary critic who is every writerís nightmare, and now he and his wife have moved into the apartment above Kerenís!

Kerenís last novel was highly acclaimed by other critics, yet Shatz wrote not a single word about it. This disregard was far worse for Keren than any possible criticism. Keren, familiar with French culture and busy translating FranÁois Rabelaisí classics, Gargantua and Pantagruel, has a megalomaniac dream of writing the ultimate book, the masterpiece of all time. Only 22 pages have been written of the anticipated thousand page volume, but now that Shatz is disturbing Kerenís nights with incessant banging on his typewriter, the author knows that he will no longer be able to write, and that he is doomed to suffer eternal writerís block.

At least his love life takes an exciting turn. Keren, divorced, falls in love with Naomi, Professor Shatzís lovely wife, who it turns out, does love Kerenís work: Sweet revenge! Naomi leaves her abusive husband to join Keren, and the two set off to celebrate their love in the countryside.

Originally published as Ha-Gamal Ha-Meofef Ve- Dabeshet Ha-Zahav, this witty and intelligent satire of the writer-critic relationship is translated by Vivian Eden.

About the Author

Aharon MeggedAHARON MEGGED has been publishing since 1938. His fiction has won numerous awards, including the Koret Prize and the French Wizo prize for Foiglman, which was also selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers Program. He has also been awarded the Bialik, Brenner, and Agnon Prizes, and most recently, the coveted Israel Prize in 2003. He lives in Tel Aviv.

The flying camel and the golden hump

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