Publisher: Plume Books
Length: 260 Pages
About: young woman goes to new Israel state
Style: 1st person
In the spring of 1946, Evelyn Sert stands on the deck of a ship bound for Palestine. For the twenty-year-old from London, it is a time of adventure and change when all things seem possible. Swept
up in the spirited, chaotic churning of her new, strange country, she joins a kibbutz, then moves on to the teeming metropolis of Tel Aviv, to find her own home and a group of friends as eccentric
and disparate as the city itself. She falls in love with a man who is not what he seems when she becomes an unwitting spy for a nation fighting to be born.
"This is my story. Scratch a Jew and you've got a story. If you don't like the elaborate picaresques full of unlikely events and tortuous explanations, steer clear of the Jews. If you want things
to be straightforward, find someone else to listen to. You might even get to say something yourself. How do we begin a sentence? 'Listen…'"
Linda Grant won Britain's Orange Prize for Fiction for WHEN I LIVED IN MODERN TIMES, and I understand why. It is both a coming of age story, and the story of a country struggling to be born. As
someone who grew up on stories of Israel's war for independence, and as a teacher of Israel's history, this book rings true. It doesn't sugarcoat the struggles of immigrants who settled there after
World War II, nor does it hide the fact that Jewish terrorists did their best to chase the British out of Palestine so that they could create the country Israel for themselves.
Debbie Ann Weiner, bookreporter.com, 31st December 2002
Not so good:
Linda Grant, who on Wednesday won the Orange prize for her novel When I Lived in Modern Times, last night rejected allegations that she plagiarised the work of an American academic.
"What should have been the happiest day of my life has been completely destroyed," she said last night. "Instead of celebrating, I spent it literally with my stomach lurching."
Maev Kennedy, The Guardian, 8th June 2000
About the author
Linda Grant was born in Liverpool to a family of Russian and Polish Jewish immigrants.
She was educated at The Belvedere School (Girls' Day School Trust), read English at the University of York (1972 to 1975), then completed an M.A. in English at McMaster University in Canada.
She did post-graduate studies at Simon Fraser University.
In 1985 Grant returned to Britain and became a journalist, working for The Guardian and eventually wrote her own column for eighteen months.