Read Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clézio Adam Gopnik C. Dickson Online


“This is Nobel-quality writing, an international author with a mature style telling a story to the peak of his capacity. The English language needs more of it.” From the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature, Wandering Star is the story of two young women, one uprooted by the Holocaust and the other by the founding of the state of Israel.  Bearing witness to the bo“This is Nobel-quality writing, an international author with a mature style telling a story to the peak of his capacity. The English language needs more of it.” From the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature, Wandering Star is the story of two young women, one uprooted by the Holocaust and the other by the founding of the state of Israel.  Bearing witness to the boundless strength of the spirit, and based on his own experience as a child in World War II, J.M.G. Le Clézio chronicles the saga of a young girl, Esther, who, in a small mountain village north of Nice occupied by Italian forces, learns what it means to be Jewish in wartime Europe. A quiet young teenager, she suffers the loss of her beloved father and, with her mother, is forced to flee advancing German troops. At war’s end, Esther and her mother make an arduous journey to Jerusalem, where their path crosses with a group of displaced refugees, including Nejma, a Palestinian girl whose story of life in the camps balances Esther’s own tale of suffering and survival. Esther and Nejma never meet again, but in their respective exiles, they are forever haunted by the memory of one another. Wandering Star is a powerful coming-of-age story and, as Le Figaro notes, truly “a luminous lesson in humanity.” J.M.G. Le Clézio is a distinguished French author with over thirty novels, essays, and story collections to his credit. He is the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature....

Title : Wandering Star
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ISBN : 9781931896566
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 328 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Wandering Star Reviews

  • Ahmed
    2019-04-27 08:13

    نوبل 2008.لن نتعمق فى نوايا الكاتب ولا دوافعه لكتابة هذا العمل لأن هذا لا يعنينى بصراحه , فالمهم هو العمل بين يدى .اهدى الكاتب عمله إلى : الأطفال الأسرى.عمل انسانى بامتياز.تتساوى أمامه وبداخله كل الجنسيات والأديان والعقائد.هيلين (إستير) اليهوديه الجميله ونجمه الفلسطينيه الساحرةحياة بالكربون : تتشابه مع بعضهما جدا باختلاف الظروف وحتى اختلاف المجتمعات والعقائد.إستير : تحت اضطهاد فاشية الحرب العالميه الثانيه ضد اليهود فى هذه الحرب والتى نجحوا فى تطبيق هذا الاضطهاد عندما واتتهم الفرصه فى تطبيقه على شعب أضعف منهمبغض النظر عن كلا الموقفين , وبغض النظر حتى عن الشخصيتين فقد نجح الكاتب فى رسمهما بصورة جيده تظهر لك الفارق والتشابه بين حياتيهما.لن أتعمق كثيرا فى الحديث عن خصوصية الموقف الفلسطينى وتفرده , وان تحدثنا عن اضطهاد اليهود فى فترة الحرب العالميه فلن تسعفنا مجلدات.ورغم ان العمل مترجم فاللغه قويه متماسكه اظهرت ديناميكيه أدبيه عاليهشخصيات العمل جميله جدا تربطك بها علاقة حب من خلال كلمات الكاتبالشخصيات الثانويه من اجمل ما تكون.الأحداث: واقعيه بامتيازأفضل ما فى العمل من وجهة نظرى بعد الحس الانسانى البديع هو الوصف: فقد كان الكاتب كرسّام يقوم بعمل لوحة عمره ليقدمها لنا لنستمتع بها .وكعادة أعمال كتاب نوبل : عمل أكاديمى ومحترف للغايه, استطاع فيه أن يوظف الكاتب كل مقومات العمل الناجح ليقدمه لنا , قد تشعر بانه ممل أو أنه ثقيل ولكنك لن تسطيع أن تنكر ما تتركه على نفسك من أثر جميل عمل ممتاز

  • Sawsan
    2019-04-24 07:11

    أول قراءة لجان لوكليزيو كانت قصص قصيرة موضوعاتها جديدة ومختلفةلكن هذه الرواية كان الملل هو المسيطر أثناء قراءتها الكاتب يحكي عن استير الفتاة اليهودية وعن معاناة اليهود فترة الحرب العالمية التانية الخوف والهروب من الألمان, والرغبة في الهجرة إلى فلسطين أرض الميعاد ومع وصول استير لفلسطين ننتقل في جزء صغير من الرواية لنجمة الفتاة الفلسطينية التي تُطرد هي وأهلها من بيوتهم وأرضهموتحكي عن رحلة العذاب والتهجير, وحياة البؤس والمعاناة في مخيمات اللجوءولأجل أن تجد استير مكان جديد تستقر فيه يكون على نجمة أن ترحل عن وطنها الكاتب استفاض في الكتابة عن اضطهاد الألمان لليهودالأكيد ان الظلم والاضطهاد واحد لكل الطوائف والجنسياتلكن فيه فرق واضح بين الحالتين في العمومالفرق بين اضطهاد طائفة بسبب العرق أو الدين وبين اغتصاب وطن واحتلال بلد بكامله

  • Teresa Proença
    2019-05-22 10:16

    "Não encontrei a minha luz nas lições de liberdade nem a recebi de meu pai.Mordi-a na minha própria carne,talhei-a no meu próprio coração."— Hayyim Nahman Bialik Há livros que quase me fazem acreditar na existência de deuses. Só alguém tocado por eles poderá escrever assim...Fui ao Goodreads saber de quem teve o privilégio de ler, e sentir, este livro. Encontrei a Ana. E, com as suas lindas palavras, voltei a emocionar-me. Apenas não concordo com as estrelas. Eu também queria mais de Nejma mas ela partiu por uma "estrada sem fim onde o sol brilha, bem alto no céu, para todos."Obrigada, Ana.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-15 07:26

    I’ve had a mixed experience with Nobel Prize winners that I’ve recently read. The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek was challenging to say the least, and Auto-da-Fe by Elias Canetti was bizarre. On the other hand, Beloved by Toni Morrison was a revelation, and The Double by José Saramago was very entertaining. But Wandering Star aroused intense feelings of melancholy about the Arab-Israeli conflict and of anger about international indifference to the persisting plight of refugees all over the world.J.M.G. Le Clézio was awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature as an ‘author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization’ – and I bought Wandering Star, the only one of his books available in English, shortly afterwards. Now that I’ve finally read it, I understand why he won the prize.Alison Kelly’s review at The Guardian explains that Le Clezio wrote experimental fiction in his first phase as an author, but that Wandering Star reverts to using ‘conventional modes of storytelling complete with familiar devices such as characters, settings and plots’. Since I haven’t read any of his unconventional works, I can’t comment on the full scope of this author, but (despite the pedestrian translation) this book shows a writer in great command of his powers. In this novel he has tackled that most intractable of geopolitical issues, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the point of view of two young girls, both of whom are ‘wandering stars’ in search of a home. Esther is a Jewish refugee in post-Holocaust Europe, and Nejma is a dispossessed Palestinian. Their parallel stories illuminate the anguish of exile.To read the rest of my review please visit

  • Ana
    2019-04-26 05:28

    Que delícia foi ler esta obra! Pode parecer contraditório afirmar isto, porque muito pouco em Estrela errante nos coloca um sorriso na cara, nos faz pensar cor-de-rosa ou ser otimista, mas tudo isso torna-se supérfluo quando esbarramos com palavras, parágrafos, capítulos tão bem delineados, tão bem escritos. Vezes sem conta dei comigo com o olhar preso em determinada passagem, presa ao poder das palavras, como que perdida entre a beleza e o deleite dum amontoado de letras, que combinadas pela mão genial do escritor, nos permitem tomar o lugar da personagem, enroscar no seu íntimo e ver os que os seus olhos veem, pensar o que o seu intelecto pensa, sentir o que seu coração sente, desfrutar o que os seus sentidos desfrutam. É esta a magia e a força da leitura :)Esther e Nejma são as protagonistas desta obra. São duas adolescentes marcadas por experiências terríveis. Uma é judia, conseguiu escapar às garras dos nazis, mas na fuga perdeu o pai, a inocência e a noção de casa, de pertencer a um lugar. A outra é palestiniana e também ela se vê obrigada a fugir da sua cidade, do mar e das ruas que sente como suas para não sucumbir, para não perder a vida. A errância e a casualidade fazem com que os passos de uma se cruzem com os passos da outra, que Esther e Nejma se olhem nos olhos, se toquem e troquem muito mais dos que os seus nomes, já que nunca mais se esquecerão desses breves momentos, desse diálogo mudo, dorido que recordarão em alturas fulcrais ou insignificantes das suas vidas. A força, a determinação, a coragem, o crescimento forçado por circunstâncias terríficas, a inocência que espreita em lugares desoladores e sobretudo a capacidade de olhar, de observar e de ainda desfrutar da magia da natureza fizeram com que me rendesse sem reservas às duas meninas-mulheres que erram, vagueiam ao longo das 290 brilhantes páginas da obra. Foi impossível não me identificar com as fugas de Esther, que tenta enganar a realidade de guerra e de terror, evadindo-se, indo ao encontro de refúgios, de locais mágicos, onde a água, os sons que produz, o choque térmico que lhe eriça a pele, o seu irrevogável curso alimentam os seus sonhos, a sua esperança. Foi ainda pungente e aflitivo acompanhar Nejma nos intermináveis dias de um campo de refugiados, no qual o calor abrasador, a falta de água potável, a perda de quase tudo o que nos define como humanos a impeliam a afastar-se de todos, a pôr o olhar no horizonte e a desafiar a morte.Estrela errante é assim uma obra pouco ou nada indicada para quem não quer mergulhar na dor, no desespero, na desolação, naquilo que faz enroscar e querer desaparecer. Contudo, para quem busca – tal como eu – com desespero e agonia uma obra que nos toca, que nos faz crescer, que nos alimenta o vício de querer ler mais e mais, que nos leva a agradecer a existência da literatura, deve mergulhar no mundo deste autor francês, galardoado com o Nobel em 2008. A sua deliciosa escrita (pelo menos nesta obra, que é a única que li dele) é contemplativa, contida, carregada de lirismo, sensorial e alcançou aquilo que eu pretendo de uma leitura – fez-me viajar, arrebatou-me, extasiou-me, enlevou-me. É, por fim, uma obra que glorifica o feminino. É um hino às mulheres como um todo, como um ser único e especial que somos. Antes de terminar, tenho que agradecer à Verinha “Gastabromas” por me ter emprestado o livro. Gracias, Verinha, proporcionaste-me cinco dias de uma leitura “terriblemente exquisita” :) :) NOTA – 09/10 (não lhe dou a nota máxima, apenas porque queria mais de Nejma…)

  • MaryamAbdelhameed
    2019-04-23 05:19

    <<ألا تشرق الشمس على الجميع؟؟>>هذا هو المنظور الذي يعالج منه الكاتب القضية،، قضية فلسطين وإسرائيل واللاجئين والأسرىمنذ البداية يسعى لوكليزيو الحائز على نوبل 2008 إلى وضع الشعب اليهودي المستضعف المقهور...الخ -من وجهة نظره- في نفس السلة مع الشعب الفلسطيني الذي تم تهجيره من أرضه وسلبه حقوقه..والحل هو: ألا تشرق الشمس على الجميع؟خصص الكاتب 60 صفحة من أصل 318 للفتاة العربية نجمة لتحكي قصة تهجيرها القسري من بلدتها وحياتها البائسة في المخيم ثم هربها منه الى الأردن وباقي الصفخات 260 صفحة لـ (إستير) الفتاة اليهودية الفرنسية التي تعرضت للاضهاد العنصري وفقدت والدها في الحرب العالمية الثانية ثم قررت أن تهاجر برفقة يهود آخرين إلى الأرض الموعودة لشعب الله المختار - أورشليم!وبالتالي تفقد الرواية القدر المعقول من الاتزان في عرض وجهتي النظر وإن كانتا غير متعارضتين من وجهة نظر الكاتب، فنجمة وإستير (التي تعني نجمة أيضاً بالعبرية) في نفس الجانب، رغم احتواء الرواية على اشارات بليغة تكشف عن انحياز الكاتب للجانب الصهيوني،، فمثلا عندما تشعر استير بالشفقة على طابور الفلسطينيات وأطفالهن الذاهبات إلى المخيم، ترد عليها إحدى النساء اليهوديات بأن هؤلاء أرامل وأمهات من يقتلوننا!!وتبدو إستير مقتنعة بصواب هذه النظرة فتتساءل (والأطفال)؟!!!!

  • Stephanie
    2019-04-27 11:25

    Le Clezio recently won the Nobel Prize, hence my interest in his books. Multnomah County Library system had only one of his books in an English translation: Wandering Star.I felt the author's voice was too strong; I never forgot that a man was writing it. The protagonist is female. His characters do not seem realistic. Also, he left minor plots unfinished. Perhaps this is simply a poor translation or not one of his better works. I did not find this novel to be of Nobel prize winning standard, not like Saramago.

  • Susan
    2019-05-05 09:29

    A story of two young women transformed by war into "wandering stars." As a girl, Esther is hiding from the Germans in a mountain village while her father risks his life guiding other Jews to safety. After much suffering, Esther and her mother embark on an arduous journey to Jerusalem. But as she finally near the promised land, they pass a stream of newly displaced refugees, among them a Palestinian girl, Nejma. Based on this solitary connection, the story then cycles to Nejma who chronicles the misery of a refugee camp and her escape. However, I felt the book was unbalanced in its two narratives and we only find the later parts of Nejma’s story in Esther’s imaginings. The author is a Nobel Prize winner and the book is a work of art, but it is rather static art – a series of beautifully crafted word paintings in which the story dwells and takes occasional leaps. I was surprised to find that the author, who goes by his intitials, is a man, since the book is finely tuned to the mysteries of birth and death.

  • Vernon
    2019-05-10 06:11

    It would be foolish for me to say this is the "best" novel I've ever read, that it is better than "Crime and Punishment," or "The Trial," or "The Three Musketeers." It is not. But I'm willing to state that "Wandering Star" is on that same exalted level. There is a difference between "good" or "very good," and "great," and "Wandering Star," in my opinion, is a great novel, and after reading only this one work by Le Clezio (something I'll be changing in the very near future) is good to know there is (at least) one writer at work today putting out fiction of this caliber. The Nobel Committee got it right in 2008!Sometimes I'd find myself so lost in the beauty and flow of words it would be necessary to go back and reread a paragraph or page so as to understand what was actually being said! It was difficult to pick an excerpt to share, but I wanted to give an example of the flowing beauty omnipresent in this wonderful work. (Even though there are names included, I don't think they qualify as "spoilers"--it's not that kind of book.)"....They went to the center of the room, facing the lights, speaking their strange language. Esther looked in astonishment at their long white shawls draping down on either side of their faces. As they entered, the light grew brighter, the voices louder. Now they were chanting and the women in black were answering with softer voices. Inside the room, the alternating voices made a sound like the wind, or the rain, that slowly died away, then rose again, echoing loudly off the too narrow walls, made the flames of the candles flicker."All around her, the teenage and younger girls, faces turned toward the light, repeated the mysterious words rocking their bodies back and forth. The smell of the soot from the candles mingled with the smell of sweat, the rhythmic chant, and it was like being drunk. She didn't dare move and yet, without even realizing it, she started swaying her bust forward, backward, following the movements of the women around her. She tried to read the strange words on people's lips, in the language that was so beautiful, that was speaking deep within her, as if the syllables were awakening memories. As she watched the star-shaped flames of the candles in the half-light of that mysterious cave, she was overcome with a feeling of giddiness. Never had she seen such a light, never had she heard such a chant. The voices rose, rang out, faded, then surged up elsewhere. At times, a voice spoke alone, the clear voice of a woman, chanting a long phrase, and Esther watched her veiled body rocking back and forth even harder, her arms slightly spread, her face stretching toward the flames. When she ceased speaking, a low murmur rose in the crowd saying amen, amen. Then a man's voice responded elsewhere, bellowed out strange words, words like music. For the first time, Esther knew what prayer was. She didn't know how it had come to her, but she was absolutely certain: it was the muffled sound of voices, suddenly bursting forth with the incantation of language, the rhythmic rocking of bodies, the star-flamed candles, the warm darkness filled with smells. It was the vortex of words."Here in this room, nothing else could be of any importance. Nothing could be threatening anymore, not Mario's death, or the Germans who were coming up the valley with their armored vehicles, or even the tall figure of her father walking toward the mountains at dawn, disappearing into the tall grass, like someone sinking into death."Esther rocked her body slowly forward, backward, her eyes trained on the lights, and deep down inside of her the voices of the men and women called out and responded, high toned, resonant, saying all those words in the mysterious language, and Esther could soar over time and over the mountains like the black bird her father had pointed out to her, all the way to the other side of the seas, to the place where light was born, all the way to Eretzrael."

  • Catherine Bracy
    2019-05-03 10:40

    I didn't love this book. It was a little too self-absorbedly, righteously French for me, I found myself rolling my eyes a lot at the descriptions. I can just picture the author chain smoking at some Parisian cafe while he was writing this. Some background: it's about two girls, one Jewish (Esther) and one Palestinian (Nejma), who briefly cross paths in the midst of the 1948 war. My original thought that the handling of Nejma's story was...odd. It seemed oddly placed in the middle of the book, it was much shorter than Esther's sections, and it ended quite abruptly. I didn't get the sense that the author treated her with the same respect he did Esther.But after discussing it with my book club, I changed my mind a bit. We started talking about conflict in general and the human toll inflicted, and I got to thinking that all people really want at the end of the day was to be paid their respect, for wrongs against them to be acknowledged, to be heard, etc. It seems, and this may be controversial, that Jews were paid that respect after WWII (rightly so), but that Palestinians are still waiting for some closure. My wild hypothesis is that the different treatments of Esther and Nejma's stories could be a metaphor for how the two groups have been treated over time. Esther gets to tell her whole story, finds closure, etc. Nejma is treated in a second-hand way, loose ends are not tied, there's no acknowledgment of the suffering, etc.Anyway, I'm not sure I'd recommend this book but it definitely got me thinking about bigger global issues (especially timely given the current Gaza crisis) and how they affect individual lives, what it means for human dignity, etc.

  • Rlmteacher marcus
    2019-05-05 07:21

    So far, this is an intriguing book that provides some insight from the children's perspective of what it was like to be in a country, like Italy, when Germany was marching throughout Europe. Some of the children are Jewish, others are not.

  • Laurel Deloria
    2019-05-21 05:28

    1CThis is Nobel-quality writing, an international author with a mature style telling a story to the peak of his capacity. The English language needs more of it. 1D 14 The Telegraph From the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature, Wandering Star is the story of two young women,

  • Caroline
    2019-04-29 06:19

    The proofreader did a horrible job on this one, so I recommend another edition. Despite that, I loved it a lot. Fabulous descriptions of nature.

  • Paul
    2019-05-08 04:17

    Written by the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature, this is the story of two young women who meet by chance in the turmoil of the Middle East.During World War II, Esther is a Jewish girl living in a small town somewhere in southeastern France. The residents have an uneasy relationship with the Italian troops occupying the town, but they get along. When the Italians surrender and leave the town, the Jews know that the Germans will send them on a one-way trip to a concentration camp. So Esther, and her mother, Elizabeth, and the other Jews in town undertake a harrowing journey on foot through the mountains, to reach the coast, and passage to Jerusalem. Esther constantly worries that her father, who joined the resistance, will never be able to find them again.After many days journey, carrying whatever they can, they reach the coast, and board a boat heading for Israel. The ship is halted by the authorities, and sent back to France, where the Jews are held for a time, before actually reaching Jerusalem. There, Esther meets a young Palestinian girl named Nejma, a refugee because of the fighting.In the early days of their time in the camp, the Palestinians treat it like some sort of temporary setback; after a few days, weeks at the most, they’ll be able to return home. The women gather at the local well and gossip like they are already back home. As reality sets in, and they begin to realize that they aren’t leaving anytime soon (if ever), hope turns into despair and the feeling that they have been abandoned by the rest of the world. The only thing the Palestinians have to look forward to is the occasional arrival of the UN aid truck. Life becomes a daily struggle for survival. At the end, Nejma leaves the camp with Saadi, a black man who loves her, and wants to take her back to his homeland. As one person’s wanderings end, those of another person are just getting underway.Told in first person by both young women, this is a quiet novel, but it’s also a beautifully written novel. So this is what Nobel-caliber fiction is like. I will make sure to look for more of it.

  • Dokusha
    2019-05-07 05:34

    Ein jüdisches Mädchen flieht im Frankreich des 2. Weltkriegs mit vielen anderen vor den heranrückenden Nazis. Eine bedrückende und entbehrungsreiche Reise steht ihr bevor, bevor sie endlich im gelobten Land ankommt. Auf dieser Reise findet sie auch den Zugang zur Religion, den sie in ihrem kommunistisch geprägten Elternhaus nicht hatte.Doch auch hier herrscht Krieg, und sie kann ihren Frieden nicht finden. Die Hoffnung der Juden auf ihren eigenen Staat, der ihnen Sicherheit vor der Verfolgung bietet, ist gleichzeitig der Alptraum für die palästinensiche Bevölkerung, die ihrerseits vertrieben wird. Zwischen einer dieser Vertriebenen und dem jüdischen Mädchen findet eine kurze Begegnung statt. Die beiden sehen sich nie wieder, aber die Szene verbindet die beiden Leben, die so verschieden und im Grunde doch ähnlich ablaufen.Das Buch ist in einem ergreifenden Stil geschrieben, der unter die Haut geht. Man kann hinterher beide Seiten des "ewigen Konfliktes" um Israel besser verstehen, und einmal mehr wird klar, daß Krieg niemlas Probleme lösen, sondern bestenfalls verschieben kann.

  • Joanna
    2019-04-30 08:13

    Not only is this book written beautifully, but the author is able to capture multiple voices (from multiple characters and switching from first to third person). The central story is of a Jewish girl and her family who are always one step ahead of the Nazis in Europe until they make their way to Jerusalem and end up in Israel at the time of its founding. Once there she encounters an Arab woman escaping persecution in Israel and fleeing to a refugee camp. At that point the story switches to that of the young Arab woman, only later to go back to the original character coming to terms with her story as an adult. The author writes without bias; he is able to capture the sadness and horror of each situation. It is definitely worth the read.

  • Ilana Diamant
    2019-05-10 06:24

    Reading this after Curiol's book, I take back all the bad things I said about her. The two novels couldnt be more different from each other in plot, tone and character, but LeClezio's facile insights, sentimentalism and cardboard characters drawn out of popular cliches and stereotypes surpass those of Curiol's by far. This is the worst treatment that writers/artists/thinkers of any sort can give to the cultural worlds and subjectivities they claim to create or represent. No plot, no character, no piece of good writing can be justified when it reproduces cliches when it should be interrogating them.

  • Peter
    2019-05-09 09:25

    Quotations from reviews on this book's jacket suggest that it gets beyond the politics of Israel and Palestine. This struck me as being bollox. Since I don't believe any such beyond is attainable. But having read the book, I sort of see what they mean. I see it as trying to create understanding and compassion that should be the place where the politics begin. The brief relationship (it can hardly be called that really) between the Israeli and the Palestinian woman here seemed to me sentimentalized, though, unlike the rest of this pretty hard-hitting novel.

  • Carolinecarver
    2019-05-22 10:27

    Nice imagery but doesn't seem like a Nobel-prize winner to me. It's not terribly memorable--maybe that's because the characters aren't so well-drawn. It started off so well, and I relished the parts in the village with the families and children and piano teacher, but the ending felt rushed, and I never much got into the Palestinian character. I did give it four stars, and it's certainly readable and well done, but when I heard Le Clezio got a Nobel, I wondered about it and thought it wasn't for this particular book.

  • Liana
    2019-05-24 11:28

    It is surely a very lyrical translation. I found myself much absorbed in the description of the vast, grassy landscape, the mountains, the trees, the desert, the rivers, the life and death of it. I really wish I didn't think of the word "dull" when trying to describe this book. It's actually got a sort of fragile beauty to it; a tenderness that can be easily be overturned by ambivalence if you let it.

  • Mohd Antar
    2019-04-23 08:19

    روايه جيده لكاتب حاصل علي جائزه نوبل,احداث كثيره وخطوط متوازيه تتقاطع بذكاء وحرفيه ومشاعر انسانيه فياضه عبر عنها بكل صدق وشفافيه..عمل ادبي يحوي كل عناصر النجاح بالرغم من اختلافنا معه فكريا في بعض النقاط.

  • Stanley Levine
    2019-05-19 04:18

    Susan (March 19, 2010) expresses my feelings about this book better than I myself could, so I first send the reader curious about this book to her comments. -- And now in my own words: the thing I liked best about the book, more and more as I progressed in the book, was the beautiful style (which some comments indicate may have been mishandled in the English translation, but I have only read the original French - if you can, I would recommend reading it in French for Le Clezio's unique authorial voice) -- which comes across especially strongly in the nature descriptions, whether the scene is a mtn gap in the Alps, the Mediterranean sea as seen from the French hills behind it, or the desert where parts of Esther's and all of Nejma's story is set. As for the narrative, I must agree that, even tho momentous events are occurring, the Holocaust, the clandestine sea passage from S. France to Haifa, the expulsion of the Palestinians and their subsequent life in refugee camps, etc. - despite this background, I must agree with the comment that the action was somewhat static. The book has two (or three) main characcters, and several different time settings.the following is my attempt to reconstruct the story line. Even tho it may seem static the narrative is actually so rich that I must leave out many important aspects, such as the stories of Reb Joel, of Rachel, of Tristan, etc etc. Even so, the following is overlong.Part I, entitled Helene, is set in a French village near the Italian border where many Jews, both French citizens and (Polish?) refugees, are living in seemingly harmonious symbiosis with the local inhabitants. The eponymous heroine is 13 years old, still a child but with slight premonitions of her impending adolescence. She lives with her mother, Elizabeth; her father is often away on a mission (leading groups of endangered Jews from France to safety in Italy). The Italian occupation seems very light-handed, requiring the Jews to appear regularly at the Italian HQ but otherwise rarely interfering in their day-to-day life (one sad exception is when the piano of an elederly Viennese-Jewish virtuoso is requisitioned and carried off to their HQ by the Italians). This ends when the German army arrives, causing the Italians to retreat back to Italy and rounding up or killing all the Jews they can find. Helene, whose real name is Esther, escapes with her mother and a large group of other Jews by an arduous treck across the Alps to Italy. Her father, Michel, who she expects to join them en route, never appears; we learn much later that he and the group he was leading are ambushed and exterminated by a German unit. Esther and Elizabeth settle down in Italy, working in an inn and waiting for the day they can live out Michel's dream and move to Jerusalem where they will live as citizens of their own land. -- Part II, Esther, is set apx 1947-1950. Despite difficulties and dangers, Esther and Elizabeth eventually get to Haifa on a precarious sea voyage, just as the State of Israel is proclaimed and the War of Independance begins. On her way to Jerusalem, they cross a group of Arabs fleeing East. Esther and an Arabic double, Nejma, leave their respective 'tribes' to exchange a discrete greetings and tell each other their name. (Spoiler alert: our expectation that the two will some day cross paths again is repeatedly aroused but never comes to pass.) -- Part III, entitled Nejma, tells of her experience in a refugee camp, with limited and diminishing amounts of food and water and ever new arrivals. Alongside an elderly story-teller she invites into her tent and a pregnant refugee from Deir Yassin (?) whose child Nejma takes on after the mother dies of plague. Nejma too is pregnant but her lover, the father of her future daughter, dies in the war. To escape the plague which has devastated the camp's population, with the two children she joins a Bedouin shepherd and they pursue a nomadic life in his native region. Parts IV and V return to Esther and Elizabeth. In the 1970's we find Esther realizing the dream of her daughter's father, who has also died in the war: studying medicine in Canada. Elizabeth returns to France, the site of her happy days before the war with Michel. We later learn that her motivation is more complex: she has a fatal cancer and leaves to die where her husband was killed. The narrative flips back and forth between Esther's experiences in Canada and the point 9 (?) years later when she accompanies her mother at the death-bed. At her mother's request, she has her cremated and wanders with the ashes until she fiinds the spot where Michel was murdered and from there casts her ashes into the air, landing on her, on the 'sacred' ground, and in the Mediterranean.

  • Cheryl
    2019-04-28 08:24

    I wanted to love this book; usually a book that is described "more like poetry than prose" does it for me. There might have been something that just did not cross over in translation; it was written in French and I think something was lost. The book did not read as if it was written by a Nobel Prize for Lit winner. Sometimes a chapter would switch from first person to third with no warning, and it was just plain strange. A few chapters were told from the perspective of secondary characters and again, they seemed out of place. Oh to have a fluent French speaker to read the original and tell me if I am right...The story had so much promise; about a young French-Jewish girl and her ordeals during WWII and a young Palestian girl who is forced to be a refugee in her own country as Israel is founded. I think I thought there would be some discussion of what it means to be a refugee seeking safety in a place, Israel, which can only be accomplished by forcing others into being refugees. There was really only a few chapters about the Palestinian girl Nejma, so this was mainly about Esther or Helene. What I did like about the book were the vivid descriptions of her surroundings, the joy she derived from being outside and the freedom she found there; in contrast to her time in a prison or walking for freedom over the mountains of France into Italy. I also loved the descriptions of Esther "discovering" religion; her family did not practice, so her exposure to Jewish rituals opened her mind to their power. Not even knowing the Hebrew that the prayers were chanted in, "she tried to read the strange words on people's lips, in the language that was so beauitful, that was speaking deep within her, as if the syllables were awakening memories." In exile, as the only survivors of the escape to Italy, she went into a church and lit all the candles to remind her of the candlelit Jewish services she attended, and the imagery is amazing and will stay with me. That in a Christian church, she could create a sense of timelessness and peace connected to her faith. The beauty of the candlelit church made me read and reread the passage over and over, Esther quickly lighting candles to illumninate the darkness and remembering those she cared for who were caught and sent to Auschwitz while she and her mother escaped. I love the idea of all faiths being able to contain each other and the idea of the world being large enough to contain all faiths with tolerance and even celebration...The book is about survivors of a desperate and desolate time, and the descriptions of the time of Esther in the prison before sailing to Israel and of Nejma in the refugee camp are very hard to read but so important. A lot of my patients come from Thai refugee camps, and I have to hope today's standards are higher that during WWIIl that at least they have safe water. Both stories tell about the simple things that happen when you are imprisoned as they were; how there was hope at the beginning, hope for an end to their imprisonment, how there were always sounds of children running and playing and adults receiving news from newcomers, and how that slowly and ominously fades away to silence where there is no hope. The chldren: "For many of them...the ordinary faces of childhood seemed already wilted with incomprehensible old-age. Scrawny little girls with stooped shoulders...young boys half naked... with dark gray ash colored skin, scalps mottled with ringworm, eyes devoured by gnats..." These words are powerful in a heartbreaking and necessary way. I think we need to know and remember all the suffering that was and still is, and fall on our knees with the blessing that is our life, or at least I do.A French book review: "Le Clezio seeks the signs of human misery and of potential peace at the very heart of life, in a confrontation with time and the elements; with the sun and the earth; with birth, and death, with the mystery of origins and the enigma of the future, with the necessity of both remembering and forgetting, without which nothing can be healed." I do feel that the book did all of that, and if you can get past the awkwardness, there is a great lesson and story here. I know it will stay within me for a while.

  • Roger Brunyate
    2019-05-21 07:39

    ExodusMay 1948. The State of Israel has just been proclaimed. Two columns of refugees pass one another on a mountain road outside Jerusalem. One is a group of European Jews, now in trucks, nearing the end of their journey to the Holy City. The other, on foot, is a long straggling line of displaced Palestinians starting their own journey to nowhere. Briefly, the columns halt. A seventeen-year-old girl climbs down from her truck and comes face to face with another girl her own age. Their eyes meet. The Palestinian girl writes her name in a notebook, Nejma, and hands it over for the other to do the same: Esther. The columns move off in opposite directions.It is a powerful image. Had the book jacket not made clear that this was to be the story of two women, it would have come as a surprise. For the first 200 pages have their own shape: the story of Esther's childhood in the French Alpes Maritimes, her narrow escape from the encroaching Holocaust, and her clandestine postwar emigration to Israel. Now Le Clézio counterposes another story, one dominated by deprivation and horror instead of youth and light, though both centered around attractive and resilient young women. But anybody trying to predict the course of the book at this stage would still be wrong.The only other book by the 2008 Nobel laureate that I have read, Onitsha, despite its almost mythical African setting, shows similar qualities to this one: adolescent protagonists, life-altering journeys, the mystique of an absent father, the search for home—and above all the interplay of contrasting narratives. Wandering Star is constantly shifting between genres. It opens in radiant simplicity, a tale of growing-up almost like a young adult novel, but it unfolds with curious repetitions, in whorls and petals, at times becoming more a dream than a story. As the Italians withdraw from that part of France and the Germans move in, we move to another familiar trope, that of the Holocaust novel; but again many of the usual expectations are denied, or postponed only to be fulfilled almost as footnotes many pages later.Over all of this lies the Exodus story. Esther (then called Hélène) is brought up by non-religious parents. There is a striking scene when on a whim she visits the little village synagogue, and the sound of the prayers in a language she doesn't understand becomes for her an all-enveloping light. She gradually begins to experience her own Jewishness, and becomes possessed by the ideal of Eretz Israel and the city of light at its heart. Her journey there will not be easy, but eventually she arrives—only to have that Exodus story contested by another exodus in the opposite direction.How will the two narratives be resolved? Can they be resolved? The biblical Exodus led to forty years in the wilderness, forty years of further wandering. The action in Wandering Star extends for a similar period and moves to Jordan, Canada, back to France. Readers of Onitsha will know Le Clézio's penchant for postludes; what he does here is more scattered, more true to life, and possibly more profound. Near the end, Esther revisits her old homes, looking for memories. The old Nazi headquarters has been turned into condos, the torrent that flowed down her village street has become a trickle, the mountain refuge where they once sheltered on their flight is booked up with tourists. But up there among the rocks and grasses she comes to a new realization: that our physical wanderings from place to place are nothing compared to the journeys we make in our minds.

  • Ly
    2019-05-14 08:31

    If 'meandering plot' is death-in-the-water for a writer's pitch to an publisher, then Wandering Star should have been encased in concrete and thrown off the midnight pier by a raspy-voiced mafia boss (ie, me). I persevered through pages and pages about clouds and how hot the sun is because of the 'nobel prize' sticker on the front, and was ultimately rewarded by three-hundred pages of NOTHING. I've read Le Clezio's short stories (he made an existential crisis about a toothache into a goddamn AMAZING story) and more or less loved them, so I was looking forward to a novel that a whole bunch of important people had pointed to as the crowning literary achievement of 2008. Just goes to prove that you cayn't trust no one but family *rubs fingertips in mafia-like fashion* I don't want to cry politics, but I feel like that is what earned Wandering Star its Ly-deceiving shiny Nobel sticker. The story is told from the perspective of Esther (lurching from first person to close third to omniscient third in a MOST irritating fashion), a young Jewish girl who ultimately proves as unrelatable as any whiny fourteen-year-old who reacts to problems by running through fields (cue description of hot sun + clouds). Wandering Star earns itself credence as an 'unbiased' exploration of post-world war II diaspora by slotting in a chapter from the perspective of Nejma, a young Palestinian girl who encounters Esther on her way to a refugee camp. THIS IS THE ONLY CHAPTER WORTH READING IN THE WHOLE BOOK. Nejma's story is both beautifully crafted and utterly bleak; it's testimony to the strength of Nejma as a character that the reader meets each new tragedy in Nejma's life with a renewed determination to follow her through it, as though by our commitment to reading, she is somehow more likely to survive (Never ending story, anyone?). Immediately jumping from young Nejma's struggle for survival to adult Esther looking out from her apartment window and musing on her daddy issues is an offence punishable by defenestration (both of Esther and the book itself).I can't say that my two weeks committed to reading this book were entirely wasted (but pretty close). You do emerge from the pages with a few scenes that will remain etched in your mind, by virtue of their startling imagery and bare-boned descriptions. Even Esther's first run through a field is vaguely memorable; it's just the following six incidences that have you screaming 'GET A GODDAMN TREADMILL ALREADY.'

  • Mary Etta
    2019-04-25 05:19

    Le Clezio is the 2008 Nobel laureate for literature. Wandering Star was his only title owned by Salt Lake County Library system--therefore, my only choice. They now have Onitsha on order which is set in Africa. More later, back to the book.I don't remember when I have read a book that I readily agreed with every endorsement on the book's back cover. When time finally allowed to read it regularly, I too, was anxious to get back to it each day. Reflecting on the story as it came to a close, yes, it was about humanity making their way through war and exile. Realistic and mythical. Lyrical. Throughout the book I knew I sensed the superb writing of the author. I don't claim to be very knowledgeable of the qualities of literature. Le Clezio is not just any author, he really is remarkable. There was one word that I wondered about--torrent. From translation from French to English, why the word "torrent" which I took to me a river. It occurred frequently enough that it became significant. Quotes and references which may or may not be of interest to others--p. 166, "And the earth brought forth strong grass, herb-yielding seed after his kind, . . ." The voice moves deep within me, it touches my heart, my stomach, it is in my throat and inmy eyes. It troubles me so that I move a little off to one side and hide my face in Mama's shawl. Each word is entering me and breaking something. That's the way of religion.See also, p. 178, He stopped in front of the ladder . . . .The surreal scene between Esther and Nejma, p. 193. Aunt Houriya arrives at the refugee camp, p. 211.The newborn in the refugee camp, p. 241.Description of the second birth, p. 291, beautifully reminiscent of births I've witnessed.After reading this I think of the three women I've known who have managed through political upheaval and perhaps refugee camps about which I can't bring myself to inquire after. It has to have been more difficult than I can imagine. Wandering Star gives an idea in a gentler, practical way reflective of the human spirit of many survivors.

  • Stephen Durrant
    2019-04-26 09:32

    J.M.G. Le Clezio just won this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. Francoise, my hyper-literate French wife, has never ranked him among modern France's greatest writers, but others would disagree. The announcement of his award made less of a splash in France this year than I would have expected, perhaps some indication of his ambivalent reception in his native country. This was only my second Le Clezio book, the other read in French (L'Africain). I am not sure "Wandering Star" is a great novel, but it is a very noble and big-hearted novel. Le Clezio tells the story of Esther, a young and highly sensitive Jewish girl who is driven by Nazis from her home in Nice to the Maritime Alps and then to Italy. After the war ends, she migrates with her mother to Israel. Le Clezio mixes his portrayal of the cruelty of the Nazi pursuit of the Jews with powerful glimpses of genuine humanity. And the later migration to Israel and proclamation of the state of Israel is not an end, but a continuation of struggle and conflict. In a quite daring and, I think, effective move, Le Clezio introduces a young Arab woman, a kind of double of Esther, and uses this character and her story to tell of the tragedy of the Arab camps during the early years of the Israeli state. This novel has been criticized as "disjointed," but the politics are spot-on and the profoundly humanistic tone moving. I should note, too, that Le Clezio belongs with other French writers like Laurent Gaude, who are expansive and romantic, rather than with the "small" writers, often brilliant in their own right, who focus intensely on sometimes claustrophic personalities or situations (Modiano, Ernaux, Jauffret, etc.). So, anyway, I have to read more Le Clezio!

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-07 07:22

    A really touching novel that tells the parallel tales of Esther, a Jew who escapes Nice and Livorno to find refuge in the newly declared homeland of Jerusalem in 1947-48, and Nejma, a Palestinian girl whom she meets for an instance yet whose existence haunts her. Mostly this is Esther's tale. Her father is a resistance fighter in Nice who does not return one day. She and her mother Elizabeth join a group of Jewish refugees fleeing the Germans and the Italians at the end of WW2. After a harrowing journey aboard an Italian freighter and a stint in prison, they reach Jerusalem and Esther's life begins to take some shape, eventually giving birth to a son and studying medicine at McGill after her boyfriend is killed in a skirmish with Arab forces. It is Nejma, though, who haunts her--for reasons that even she cannot express. It is Nejma who makes Esther write her story just as they wrote their names in her school composition book in the moment that they shared in hopes that they will meet again somehow. Nejma, an orphan, stays in Nour Chams Camp until it is certain that the United Nations have abandoned them and death is near, taking the infant of a dead girl with her. Nejma's tale gets some short shrift here as the last readers see of her is overlooking the road to Saadi's (her boyfriend) childhood village and thinking they'd never reach it.I read this for a TAS class, so am eager to hear others' impressions of it, but for me it drove home the idea that the more we look to find differences in our circumstances, the more we realize that we are the same and "the sun" DOES "shine for us all" as Old Nas used to say. Excellent--the author won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2008; I had never heard of him.

  • Anabela_costa
    2019-05-15 09:17

    Estrela Errante encontra-se num dos 10 melhores livros que já li. Narra duas histórias distintas que têm vários pontos em comum. Por um lado encontramos Esther, uma judia que foge da terra em que vive, uma vez que esta será ocupada por alemães, percorrendo vários locais na tentativa de encontrar paz e levar uma vida melhor, que pensa ser possível em Israel. Nessa viagem encontra muitos desafios e problemas que contribuem para mudar a sua personalidade e transformar o seu interior. Defronta-se com a morte do pai e mais tarde do marido, fome, guerras e péssimas condições de vida. Durante a viagem é acompanhada pela mãe, que se sente cada vez mais cansada e acabará por morrer no final da história. Entre estas desgraças que passam pela vida da Esther, a judia tem uma filho, o "filho do sol", Michel. Por outro lado, encontramos a história de Nejma, uma menina palestiniana que é obrigada a frequentar um campo de refugiados, para poder sobreviver. É descrita uma fase da vida de Nejma muito complicada, em que vê diariamente a morte, a fome, a miséria que percorre as pessoas que chegam aquele campo. O autor trata Esther e Nejma por irmãs, que apesar de seguirem caminhos diferentes encontram problemas semelhantes, deparando-se com uma vida sem paz e sem estabilidade. Ambas procuram uma vida melhor. Clézio mostra-nos uma Terra que parece não pode ser habitada por todos e onde o sol nasce para alguns.Aconselho este livro a todas as pessoas que gostam de histórias e da História, são capazes de se emocionar com os livros e se surpreendem com os mistérios e surpresas que o autor preparou.

  • Bernardo Hourmat
    2019-05-19 08:20

    Read a Portuguese translation of the French original. Considering the length of time it took me to finish, I have to admit the book often feels a bit long-winded and disconnected. However, good things come to those who wait or, in this case, pick up the book after a few months' worth of not really remembering one was reading it at all.The story of a Jewish girl and her mother being persecuted and forced to leave Italy in the last throes of WW2 sets the tone for what quickly turns into a quest to reach the newly formed Jewish state of Israel. Once they manage to get there, it then turns into a sort of paralel tale of both Esther (the Jewish girl) and her impression of Israel, along with Nejma (an Arab/Palestinian girl), forced to leave her village precisely because of Israel's declaration of independence. For a while, Nejma serves as Esthers' mirror image in a distorted sort of way, after a brief encounter between the two. While Esther tries to cope with her newfound sense of "belonging", Nejma copes with the tragedy of displacement and intermnent in a refugee camp of increasingly sub-human conditions, in a way eerily reminiscent of the Jews' own experiences under the Nazi occupation of Europe.As a work of literature, there appears little room for any sort of condemnation. The author leaves that to each of his readers to make his own opinion on the subject.Unfortunately, from this reader's perspective, the author discards Nejma too soon and re-centers the story in Esther and her continued search for a home of her own. The "mirror image" aspect of the novel is, I think its greatest strength and the main reason why I ended up enjoying the book so much,