Author: Esther David
Publisher: Kali/Women Unlimited
ISBN/UPC (if available): 818896509X
Set in fictional society in Ahmedabad formed after the communal riots of 2002, Shalom India Housing Society weaves together the lives of its residents through a series of stories that capture the dilemmas of the last Bene Israel Jews in India. How are their relations with other communities changing? Ought they to leave? Where can they go? Do they belong in India, or in Israel? Will they feel at home in Israel?
Drawing readers into the world of a microscopic community, the novel traces misunderstandings between parents and children, lovers and neighbours, in stories that are by turns hilarious, bitter-sweet and heartwarming. The spirit of the affectionate, sometimes eccentric, Prophet Elijah, to whom the characters turn in their trouble, suffuses the novel. Esther David probes the shifting layers of religious and national identity – from the way people dress, to the textures, tastes, and colours in which people dream of homelands imagined or left behind – in prose that is understated but always engaging.
1. The Prophet Arrives
9. Ben Hur