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The Last Interview Reviewed by Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com
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Norm Goldman --  bookpleasures.com Norm Goldman -- bookpleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal , QC
Monday, November 16, 2020

 
Author: Eshkol Nevo

Translator: SondraSilverston

Publisher: Other Press

ISBN: 978-1-63542-987-9

Eshkol Nevo is an Israeliwriter who has published a collection of short stories, five novels,and a work of non-fiction. His debut novel Homesick (2004) wasawarded the Reimond Vallier prize in France, shortlisted for theSapir prize in Israel, and longlisted for the UK's independent award.


His second bestselling novel World Cup Wishes ( 2007), won the GoldenBook Prize in Israel and was awarded the Adei-Wizo Prize in Italy.His novel Neuland (2011) sold over 130,000 copies in Israel and wasawarded the Steimatzky Prize for Book of the Year. Nevo's fourthbestselling novel Three Floors Up was adapted into a film by renownedItalian director Nanni Moretti titled 'Tre Piani.'

In 2008, Eshkolwas awarded membership in the Israel Cultural Excellence Foundation,one of the country's highest recognition for excellence in thearts.

He is the grandson of the third Prime Minister of Israel,Levi Eshkol.

In theLast Interview translated from the Hebrew by Sondra Silverston, Nevouses his imagination and concocts a Q&A where an author,supposedly Eshkol, is asked dozens of penetrating questions by awebsite editor.

You have to admit that this is a creative way tocraft a memoir where Eshkol bares his soul, looking back on his lifeand writing career.

In an actual interview conducted, Eshkol wasasked how did the book come about. His reply was that he had writer'sblock, so he invented the Q&A game, where he could answer themost outrageous questions they often ask him. After a couple ofmonths, he realized that the "game" had become a novelabout love, friendship, longing, and the hope(and fear) to start lifeagain.

The questions and answers touch various aspects of his lifeas a writer and his personal life, including love, longing, and thehope and rear of restarting one's life all over again.

When askedabout what he finds most challenging about writing, Eshkol replies:"The minute I start writing, I have an urge so strong that Ican't ignore it, the urge to eat. I go into the kitchen after everypage. No after every paragraph. But, that physical hunger issomething I can deal with. The real problem is a different kind ofhunger."

You would probably view Eshkol's books as veryIsraeli. He tells the "fictitious" interviewer that he hasno idea if they lose something in translation.

Some questions arequite pointed, such as when was the last time you cried? When was thelast time you wanted to cry? When was the last time you had a brokenheart? What embarrasses you? Does your grandfather's political legacyinfluence you as a writer? How does it feel to be named after yourgrandfather, Levi Eshkol?

Eshkol was born in Jerusalem in 1971. Heattended Tel Aviv University, where he studied Psychology, and hestudied copywriting at the Tirza Granot School. Today, Nevo owns andco-manages the largest private creative writing school in Israel andis considered the "godfather" of many upcoming youngIsraeli writers.

Sondra Silverston, who translated The LastInterview, has translated Israeli fiction writers such as EtgarKeret, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Zeruya Shalev, and Savyon Liebrecht. Hertranslation of Amos Oz's Between Friends won the National Jewish BookAward for fiction in 2013. Born in the United States, she has livedin Israel since 1970.

The Last Interview is an eye-opener of amemoir where Eshkol lays himself open to forthright penetratingself-questioning. Eshkol alights on a topic, offers asides anddigressions, circles back to her main point. There is a great dealto unpack here, and Eshkol generously exposes himself for all to seewho he really is.

 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

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