Naor, a young filmmaker, is driving with his mother. He tells her about being in Tel Aviv after a recent evacuation.
Everyone else has fled, except for Naor and Yaël, his artist girlfriend, and Saba, his grandfather, who is a writer. The occasional missile explodes nearby. But Saba refuses to leave the place he loves. And Yaël has her own secret aspirations.
In defiance of the war, they scavenge an existence and explore the mysteries of their beloved city—until the unthinkable happens.
In Evacuation, a novel of suspense, a profound tale about our choices under pressure, about love, for each other and for a place, about death, and about finding a way to peace, Raphaël Jerusalmy is at the height of his powers.
When everything was ready, Yaël went over and leaned against the roof railing. Saba practised saying his lines about ten times. But, there you go, that night there was no air-raid. Yaël and Saba asked me to film anyway. They were cross when I said no. I had to explain to them that, in the absence of any bombing, there was not enough light.
Raphaël Jerusalmy holds degrees from the École Normale Supérieure and the Sorbonne. He made his career in the Israeli military intelligence services before working in the humanitarian and educational fields. He is now a novelist and antiquarian book dealer in Tel Aviv. His first novel, Saving Mozart, is also published by Text.
Penny Hueston has translated novels by Marie Darrieussecq, Patrick Modiano and Sarah Cohen-Scali.
'In this marvellous book, Raphael Jerusalmy shows us that, despite the destructive madness of men, a few beautiful spirits, angel-poets, will always remain.' Le Monde