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When I Lived in Modern Times Paperback – 6 Jan 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (6 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847082610
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847082619
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 277,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Linda Grant was born in Liverpool on 15 February 1951, the child of Russian and Polish Jewish immigrants. She was educated at the Belvedere School (GDST), read English at the University of York, completed an M.A. in English at MacMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario and did further post-graduate studies at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, where she lived from 1977 to 1984.

Her first book, Sexing the Millennium: A Political History of the Sexual Revolution was published in 1993. Her first novel, The Cast Iron Shore, published in 1996, won the David Higham First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize. Remind Me Who I am Again, an account of her mother's decline into dementia and the role that memory plays in creating family history, was published in 1998 and won the MIND/Allen Lane Book of the Year award and the Age Concern Book of the Year award. Her second novel, When I Lived in Modern Times, set in Tel Aviv in the last years of the British Mandate, published in March 2000, won the Orange Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Jewish Quarterly Prize and the Encore Prize. Her novel, Still Here, published in 2002, was longlisted for the Booker Prize. Her non-fiction work, The People On The Street: A Writer's View of Israel, published in 2006, won the Lettre Ulysses Prize for Literary Reportage. Her Booker Prize shortlisted novel, The Clothes On Their Backs, was published in February 2008. Linda's most recent book, The Thoughful Dresser was published in March 2009.

She has written a radio play, Paul and Yolande, which was broadcast on Radio 4 in October 2006, and a short story, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, part of a week of stories by Liverpool writers commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Beatles, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, broadcast in July 2007.

She has also contributed to various collections of essays. Her work is translated into French, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Czech, Russian, Polish, Turkish and Chinese.




Awards

The Clothes On Their Backs Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2008
Winner South Bank Show Award

The People on the Street:
A Writer's View of Israel Lettre Ulysses Prize for Literary Reportage

When I Lived in Modern Times Winner, Orange Prize for Fiction 2000

Shorlisted: Jewish Quarterly Prize

Encore Prize


Remind Me Who I Am, Again Mind Book of the Year 1999

Age Concern Book of the Year 1999


The Cast Iron Shore David Higham First Novel Prize

Shortlisted Guardian Fiction Prize

Product Description

About the Author

Linda Grant was born in Liverpool in 1951. She was educated in Liverpool and studied at the University of York and in Canada. Her first novel, The Cast Iron Shore, won the David Higham Award in 1996 and was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize. She is the author of a memoir - Remind Me Who I Am Again and two further novels: When I Lived in Modern Times, which won the 2000 Orange Prize for fiction, and The Clothes on Their Backs, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mrs AG on 4 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This could indeed have been a very different sort of book - but I think this first hand description of a tremendously significant phenomenon - the birth of modern Israel - albeit a small-scale view through the eyes of someone who barely understands what she is seeing and has little or no sense of the historical background of where she finds herself, is at least as valid a record of human experience as a much more serious, analytical account would have been.
Evelyn is in search of an identity but her adoption of Jewishness is complicated by her growing awareness that there are many kinds of Jew, and all of them are angry with the country she's just come from. When she arrives she's surprised to find that she feels more British than Jewish, but in Palestine she's surrounded by British soldiers and their wives with an innate sense of superiority and a misplaced sense of fair play wholly inappropriate to the prevailing cultural complexities.
The book begins in a deceptively lightweight sort of way and slowly gathers momentum. It's written in a simple, economical style that seems of a piece with Evelyn's personality, not literary but direct and engaging. It was good at conveying the contrast between the brash, modern city of Tel Aviv with it's white walls and straight lines, and the centuries-old instabilities inherent in a place where races and cultures mingle and refugees from the second world war are pouring in and expecting to find The Promised Land.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terry D TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
'When I Lived in Modern Times' is a beautifully written story of a young Jewish girl's search for her personal identity as she exchanges a post-war England for the last days of Palestine under British colonial rule.

The story moves from one of the original Jewish kibbutz to the brand-new city of Tel Aviv as Evelyn Sert attempts to reinvent herself as one of the new Jews. Her encounters with the English expatriates plus her involvement with the fringes of the Irgun and Haganah resistance movements are a complicated mixture of changing personal attitudes and an uncertainty as to where her future really lies.

The wheel goes a full circle and, many years later, her final visit to Tel Aviv underlines her original uncertainty over her role in the creation of Eretz Israel - and her near-disillusionment over what has actually been created.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matt Nicholson on 25 Jun. 2012
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By writing a novel set at the beginning of the Israeli state, immediately after WWII, from the perspective of a young Jewish woman full of hope for the future, Linda Grant manages to highlight many of the issues that have caused such strife through the 20th century in a way that allows us to understand the behaviour of all involved.
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Quite simply, one of the finest novels I have ever read, both entertaining and intellectually stimulating. I'm already pursuing other fiction by Linda Grant. She writes the way I've always wished I could.
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By James Loader on 31 Aug. 2013
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She's a very good story teller, with very interesting subject matter. It's hard to put down. She writes very well.
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By megan cahill on 14 Sept. 2014
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Interesting story as I knew very little about Israel/Palestine. Not impressed with the writing however.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gill Payne on 14 Sept. 2012
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I ploughed through this to the bitter end, although I did struggle with it a bit. I got bored with the storyline.

I kept on with it as it provided an interesting historical perspective into the birth of the modern Israel and I like to learn about things that are new to me.
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By Mrs Jean Thursz on 13 Mar. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Slow to start but improves as I read further
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