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When I Lived in Modern Times Paperback – 1 Oct 2000

3.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; New Ed edition (1 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862074046
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862074040
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 591,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

In April, 1946 Evelyn Sert, a 20-year-old East End London hairdresser, sets out for Palestine. "This is my story", she writes, "Scratch a Jew and you've got a story". Evelyn's story in Linda Grant's When I Lived in Modern Times is no less complicated than that of any other displaced European Jew in the post-war years--separated from her family and searching for some kind of reliable identity for herself in an inhospitable new land. In shining modern Bauhaus-influenced Tel Aviv she finds that she is more English than Israeli and she becomes Priscilla Jones, a peroxided English girl with an absent policeman husband. She is at her most "real", it seems, when pretending, revelling in her ability to be entirely accepted among the English women whose hair she cuts and curls. Beyond their petty and casually anti-semitic circle, by contrast, she struggles with Hebrew, the heat, the unfamiliar food and alien, exotic way of life.

But in Palestine the English are the enemy and Evelyn is drawn into a world of shifting identities, lies and secrets by her passionate Zionist boyfriend Johnny. Even then, she is never quite sure which side she is on, or where she belongs.

Linda Grant writes with quiet assurance and a strong sense of purpose. Her Tel Aviv is a city of contradictions and of hope. Her heroine is a fully believable figure, a chameleon character of a kind readily recognisable to those of us who grew up as part of the seismic displacement of peoples that accompanied World War Two, as also, probably, to anyone who has been caught up in the more recent exoduses from Bosnia, Kosova and Albania. Linda Grant won the 2000 Orange Prize for Fiction for When I Lived in Modern Times. --Lisa Jardine

Review

"A stunning accomplishment...A vivid account of an elusive piece of recent history"
-Chicago Sun-Times

"Informed, intelligent...vital, original. "
-The New York Times

"Deeply moving...at once a beautifully rendered story of one woman's coming of age, and a gripping portrait of the last days of British rule. "
-Boston Globe

"Ms. Grant's fast-paced novel succeeds on many levels. It recreates the historical era accurately with sophisicated prose and lively jests about the human condition."
-Dallas Morning News

"Appealing...[When I Lived in Modern Times] offers an unsentimental view of a young woman's coming-of-age in a paradoxically ancient and newborn land. [A] compelling tale of a Middle Eastern adventure."
-US Weekly

A stunning accomplishment A vivid account of an elusive piece of recent history
-Chicago Sun-Times

Informed, intelligent vital, original.
-The New York Times

Deeply moving at once a beautifully rendered story of one woman s coming of age, and a gripping portrait of the last days of British rule.
-Boston Globe

Ms. Grant s fast-paced novel succeeds on many levels. It recreates the historical era accurately with sophisicated prose and lively jests about the human condition.
-Dallas Morning News

Appealing [When I Lived in Modern Times] offers an unsentimental view of a young woman s coming-of-age in a paradoxically ancient and newborn land. [A] compelling tale of a Middle Eastern adventure.
-US Weekly

" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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on 22 April 2017
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on 9 July 2001
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on 1 July 2001
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on 28 February 2013
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on 29 March 2004
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