Raif was Palestinian, Zara was Israeli. The Holocaust had sent her family reeling to this harsh desert land; a Jewish nation had driven his family from theirs. Their love was seen as betrayal by both sides, especially by Zara’s mother, Ruth. Ruth didn’t survive the Nazis to see her daughter fall prey to a Palestinian adventurer, she declares; and she will stop at nothing to save her daughter from the enemy. Through the prism of a heart-wrenching love story, CHANGING STATES provides a provocative and timely portrayal of contemporary Israel
The Story Behind the Story
This story of a young woman uprooted from her native America and transplanted, unwillingly, in Israel, was written a few short years after I myself moved (willingly) to Israel, and drew on the feelings entailed in such a radical move. However, the actual story belongs to the protagonists alone. The protagonist, Zara, is daughter of two Holocaust survivors (which I am not); her affair with an Arab boy was an attempt to explore some of the racial tensions in Israel through the prism of a love story.
In retrospect, and in the light of recent events, I see it as a rather na´ve book in its faith in the power of love to overcome entrenched hatred; but then, naivetÚ in a first novel is not inappropriate. This book was published simultaneously in England, the U.S., and Israel. "
“Exceptionally evocative… morally complex.”—The New York Times
“Breathless with excitement… an important political statement.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
“Heartbreak, horror, and fierce love…”—Kirkus Reviews
“A portrait of a remarkable heroine.”--The Chattanooga Times
Read Changing States
CHANGING STATES is currently out of print. However, copies of the book are readily available through internet book-finding services such