In praise of David Grossman

In praise of David Grossman

I still remember the moment I heard that David Grossman’s son Uri was killed in the last hours of the Second Lebanon War – a war that does not seem to have done Israel any good. It (the news) was like being punched in the stomach. I had never met Grossman, nor have I, but I was struck by the harsh irony that a man who wrote delicately and lyrically and persuasively for peace would suffer this most terrible ravage of war.

Last week, on the release of his new book “To the End of the Land,” The New Yorker ran a profile of him. It told of his hiking in Israel for 30 days, as if he, like the central character in his book, could outrun fate.

Colm Tobin reviewed the book in Sunday’s Times, calling it so many good things that my hand would get tired typing them all. Here are some: “a panorama of breathtaking emotional force, a masterpiece of pacing, of dedicated storytelling … the vast sweep of pure tragedy … at times playful, and utterly engrossing….”