Description: Cleverly elucidating the somber diaspora of Iraqi Jews, this collection of stories explores the little-publicized migration of a people escaping oppression, only to be confronted with the difficult realities of new nations and customs. Tova Sadka's work spans Iraq, Israel and the U.S. with beautiful, laconic prose, magnifying the everyday adversity of immigrants. The short stories and novella in Farewell to Dejla, at the same time humorous and poignant, deftly portray characters struggling to cope with drastic social changes: a man newly wed tries in vain to balance family tradition with the munificence of American life; a frail, dying woman prolongs death just long enough to triumphantly take part in the 25th anniversary of the Iraqi immigration to Israel. Each finely crafted story elegantly serves as an exegesis of not only the absurdity of cultural idiosyncrasies, but also the inspiring universal themes of human resilience that transcend differences in gender, nationality, and religion.
These moving, impressive stories are based on historic fact inasmuch as they deal with the destruction of the world's oldest Jewish community. It is estimated that there were 150,000 Jews in Iraq in 1948; Israel has absorbed some 132,000. At the moment, there are about eight Jews remaining in Iraq, half over eighty years old.
About the Author
Tova Murad Sadka grew up in Baghdad and emigrated to Israel and then to the U.S. in 1967. She has been a correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Davar and freelance correspondent for others. Her short story, "The Status Quo," was published in Horizon in 2006. She lives in upstate New York.
By Tova Murad Sadka
(250 Pages)Publisher: Academy Chicago Publishers , 2008