Literati is proud to welcome author Moriel Rothman-Zecher who will be sharing his debut novel Sadness Is A White Bird.
About Sadness Is A White Bird:
In this lyrical and searing debut novel written by a rising literary star and MacDowell Fellow, a young man is preparing to serve in the Israeli army while also trying to reconcile his close relationship to two Palestinian siblings with his deeply ingrained loyalties to family and country. Four days after his nineteenth birthday, Jonathan is sitting in a military jail in Israel. Languishing in the dark cell, he recalls the series of events that led him to this point. It all began when he returned to Israel after being raised and educated in Pennsylvania. He knows that he will soon be drafted as a soldier. He will be called upon to preserve and defend the Jewish state, which includes monitoring the Palestinian territories within its borders but he is conflicted. With an intense drive to know more about the plight of the displaced and occupied Palestinians, he encounters Laith and Nimreen--the twin daughter and son of his mother's friend. From that summer afternoon on, the three become inseparable: wandering the streets on weekends, piling onto buses en route to new discoveries, laughing uncontrollably. They share joints on the beach, trade private cultural treasures, intimate secrets, resentments, hopes, and dreams, revealing the deepest parts of themselves to each other. But with his draft date rapidly approaching, Jonathan wrestles with the question of what it means to be proud of your heritage while also feeling love for those outside of your own tribal family. And then that fateful day arrives, the one that lands Jonathan in prison and changes his relationship with the twins forever. Unflinching, important, and timely, Sadness Is a White Bird looks into the heart of what occupation and freedom really mean, exploring how one man attempts to find a place for himself, and discovers a beautiful, cross-cultural, against-the-odds love, the kind of love which we can hold up as an ideal in the midst of what seems like an implacable and never-ending conflict.
Moriel Rothman-Zecher is an American-Israeli writer, poet, and novelist. Born in Jerusalem, he graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in Arabic and political science. A recipient of a 2017 MacDowell Colony Fellowship for Literature, his work has been published in The New York Times, Haaretz, and elsewhere. Moriel lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio with his wife, Kayla, and their dog, Silly Department.