Becoming Gershona

"Out of the blue they told me that grandpa was coming the next day and I never ever knew I had a grandfather."
These are the opening lines of the book "Becoming Gershona". The year is 1958, the place is Tel-aviv. Gershona, an only child, is named after her mother's brother Gershon. She loathes her name and she is ashamed. She tries very hard to make some friends but she always feels lonely and isolated.
The book describes one summer. There are dramatic changes in her life. Gershona's Grandfather arrives suddenly from New-york. The older man is brought by Gershona's father, who had not seen him since the father abandoned him as a small baby.
A wonderful friendship developes between the grandfather and the girl. At the same time Nimrod - a new boy, arrives to the neighborhood and Gershona discovers the first emotions of love.
Slowly Gershon matures. She discovers new people and all the hidden secrets of her close ones are revealed to her. She had no idea that her grandmother, who shared their apartement, and grandfather were really divorced. The older couple rebuild their relationship and remarry. They then move to their own new house. Yet a desert still exists between her father and the grandfather. Something that will not be able to be bridged forever.

The book won the National Jewish Book award in the USA in 1990

Translation from Hebrew to English by Seymour Simckes
Hard cover edition by Viking Penguin USA 1990
Paper back edition by Puffin Books USA 1992

Other languages translations:
Italy: La Casa Usher, Florence 1990
Italy: paperback edition: Mondadori, Verona 1999
Germany: Frankfurt, Alibaba Verlag 1993
Germany: paperback edition: Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt 1995; 2004; 2005
Romania: Fiat Lux, Bucharest 1995
Holland: Fontein, Baarn 2000

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The book on sale in Germany

The book on sale in Holland

 

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