January 1, 2002
Nava Semel
The Rat Laughs
How can one recount the Holocaust? That is certainly one of the major questions confronting any writer who tries to write on this theme. How is one to transform the horrific and inconceivable reality into fiction? How can one create a feeling of aunthenticity in the reader? How to disturb his emotional world without resorting to sentimental manipulation and how to avoid banality?
Kindskopf, (Head of a Child)
oil and acrylic on canvas, 1996, 600 x 400 cm / 236 x 157''
The Rat Laughs
For Nava Semel the Holocaust is a central theme. In her new novel as well, she tackles the subject and employs original, experimental and unconventional devices and literary tools. It should be said at once that she succeeds very well in this task, and this book, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting, strongest and most challenging books on the Holocaust to have been written by the second generation.
Haya Hoffman, Yediot Aharonot, Israel

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