by Hannah Pressman

Subversive Teenage Diarist

Scandal in a Haifa high school

Judith Katzir’s Dearest Anne: A Tale of Impossible Love, translated by Dalya Bilu (Feminist Press, $15.99) is not your average teen romance, nor is it an average tale of a writer coming of age. Katzir’s work very nearly succeeds in transcending the conventional strictures of these genres. While boldly reinvigorating a standard journal-entry format, Katzir exposes Jewish taboos against the backdrop of a changing Israeli society in the late 1970s — all in the pursuit of revealing a tale of pure but illicit passion. That the resulting story is compulsively readable is a testament to how Katzir articulates, with uncanny precision, the thoughts and feelings racing through the mind of her teenage protagonist.

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