"The Yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven"
Pratt Pardes, Gahl, Creative Writing - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Alison, Jane, AS-Creative Writing, University of Virginia
Aharonian Marcom, Micheline, University of Virginia
Alameddine, Rabih, AS-English-Eng Lit Ops, University of Virginia
The Yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven is a collection of stories about existence along fault lines. Its protagonists traverse divides of religious and national identity, gender and sexuality, and familial role. They stray—sometimes as far as they can—from the burdens of home, history, and memory. Capturing unlikely and transformative encounters, often between strangers, this collection itself travels around a dusty refugee camp in Israel’s southern desert, in and around New York City, the beaches of Goa and Phuket, Jerusalem’s flashpoint Dome of the Rock, the Syrian-Israeli border, and many more locales real and invented along the way. The stories capture a broad swath of historical and personal conflict, from the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, to the queer awakening of a young Orthodox Jewish bride, to a broken family grappling with the echoes of the Yemenite Babies Affair. Often centering the interiority of a singular figure straining against the confines of their community of origin, the narratives in The Yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven build up to a succession of suspended moments, just before lives swell up, or crumble, or bear down into the intricately striated layers of the Land.
MFA (Master of Fine Arts)
Judaism, Jewish American Fiction, Jewish Fiction, Israel, Israeli-American Literature, Israeli History, Queer Fiction
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