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  1. November 11, 12222
  2. The Marrying Of Chani Kaufman : Eve Harris :
  3. Book review: The Marrying Of Chani Kaufman

I experienced first-hand many of the rituals Chani goes through as a bride and after I left, I continued thinking about the strangeness of the Charedi world. About a year after I left the school, I began a writing course and I was the only one in the room that did not have a novel to complete; merely a set of paltry short stories that garnered short shrift from the tutor.

My confidence was knocked and I left the class feeling deflated and miserable. A few days later, I began the fight back. When I next read to the class, a few weeks later, it was the passage that would become the first chapter of the novel. The book was longlisted for the Booker Prize - what was that experience like?

What did you do when you found out? It was completely unbelievable. In fact, when I heard I was actually deeply asleep and thought I was dreaming. It was am and I'd fallen back asleep after a terrible night due to a summer storm. I was woken by my husband bounding into the room, leaping on the bed and shouting at me. I thought something had happened to our toddler who was thankfully also asleep! He thrust a phone at my face and that's when I heard my agent's teary voice telling me I'd been longlisted.

Then the world turned upside down and the phone started to ring off the hook. How did the novel begin - as a short story? Or was the full structure there from the start? It began with a very strong image of a bride dressed in all her finery, waiting in the Bedeken Room for her husband-to-be to lower her veil. The dress seemed to take on a life of its own. I kept thinking about it and how impatient and nervous the bride must be feeling. The structure developed from this single image.

She was the core and the story radiated outwards, almost in rings, from her and her dress. Chani is an amalgamation of all the naughtier Charedi schoolgirls I met and enjoyed teaching. The Rebbetzin is a consolidation of the frustrations I felt for women in that world although I am sure many would disagree with me. There is plenty of myself in both characters too! How did you write the sections set in Jerusalem in - did you approach those in a different way from the sections in contemporary London?

I lived in Israel for 3 years as a new immigrant many years before I wrote the book. I spent half that time living in Jerusalem, falling madly in love with the city. When I was 18 during my gap year, I lived on campus as a foreign student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and spent plenty of time sitting on the basketball court, watching the lights of the Old City flicker below. I dug deep into those memories. What was the most difficult part of writing the book?

The most rewarding? Having never written a novel before, the structure was the biggest challenge. I ended up with a lot of colored post-it notes stuck to two flattened cardboard boxes donated by my local corner shop. Each note represented a chapter and each color represented a different character.

I moved them around until I felt dizzy! Writing is a grueling, lonely slog, but the days when it just felt right and my characters leapt off the page were the best. There are aspects of the ultra-Orthodox lifestyle that seem very limiting to those looking in from the outside, but at the same time, much of it seems almost liberating. Can you elaborate? I would agree with that statement. In the secular world, there is no framework and we have little to fall back on. Our lives are chaotic and many struggle to find direction and some sort of meaning in life.

Yukio Mishima. Min Jin Lee. Hiro Arikawa. John Steinbeck.

November 11, 12222

Delia Owens. Sophie Kinsella. Patricia Highsmith. Charlotte Wood. Richard Powers. Hanya Yanagihara. Jostein Gaarder. Jane Gloriana Villanueva. Madeline Miller. Joseph Heller. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Categories: Contemporary Fiction. The Marrying Of Chani Kaufman.

Notify me. She has never had physical contact with a man, but is bound to marry a stranger. The rabbi's wife teaches her what it means to be a Jewish wife, but Rivka has her own questions to answer.

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The Marrying Of Chani Kaufman : Eve Harris :

Soon buried secrets, fear and sexual desire bubble to the surface in a story of liberation and choice; not to mention what happens on the wedding night - show more. People who bought this also bought. The Devil in Jerusalem Naomi Ragen. Add to basket. The Sisters Weiss Naomi Ragen.


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Book review: The Marrying Of Chani Kaufman

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