Books

We Were the Future

We Were the Future
A Memoir of the Kibbutz
Yael Neeman
Price: £
9.99
  • Paperback
Published: 
17 May 2018
ISBN: 
9780715652749
Pages: 
256
Genre: 
  • Biography & Memoir
Available from:

Neeman’s unique and captivating first-hand experience of growing up in the kibbutz will inform and entrance.

The kibbutz is one of the greatest stories in Israeli history. The kibbutzim are collective settlements in Israel which have been written about extensively and are praised as the only example in world history of entire communities attempting to live in total equality. Intended to be a socialist utopia by early pioneers, the kibbutz was a radical experiment in communal living, gender equality, economic egalitarianism, and the reorganisation of family life.       

But in spite of its progressive ideals, there is a dark side to the kibbutz which is being told in the stories of the children raised in the communal houses - an institution which victimised its offspring for the sake of ideology.

In this spare and lucid memoir, Neeman - a child of the kibbutz in the 1960s - draws on the collective memory of the hundreds of thousands of people who grew up in kibbutzim at their height and who have intimately shared their memories with her.

We Were the Future is more than a compelling personal story: it is an unflinchingly honest examination of the perils of organising society and a new lens through which to see the history of Israel.

Reviews

‘A charming, elegiac memoir of growing up on a kibbutz in Israel’s north’ Financial Times

‘Both beautifully lyric and devastatingly illuminating’ The Times of Israel

‘An eye-opening look at a fascinating era in Israeli history and what happens when a child is part of a socio-political experiment’ Kirkus Review

‘Extraordinarily affecting’ Jewish Ideas Daily

‘Neeman, an accomplished editor and novelist, writes about her kibbutz childhood with an imagistic, spare insightfulness. The result, translated by Sondra Silverston, is a rarely intimate portrait of the unusual collaborative communities on which Israel was founded’ The Jewish Daily Forward

‘Marvellous, precise and wise’ Haaretz

Yael Neeman

About Yael Neeman

Yael Neeman was born in Kibbutz Yehiam in Israel. She is the internationally bestselling and award-winning author of two novels, Orange Tuesday and Rumors About Love, and a collection of stories, The Option (nominated for the Sapir Prize for Literature in 2014)In 2015 she won the Israel Prime Minister's Prize for Hebrew Writers. 

We Were The Future

We Were The Future
A Memoir of the Kibbutz
Yael Neeman
Price: £
16.99
  • Hardback
Published: 
18 May 2017
ISBN: 
9780715651872
Pages: 
256
Genre: 
  • Biography & Memoir
Available from:

Neeman’s unique and captivating first-hand experience of growing up in the kibbutz

The kibbutzim are collective settlements in Israel which have been written about extensively over the years, and are praised as the only example in world history of entire communities attempting, voluntarily, to live in total equality. Conceived as a socialist utopia by its early pioneers, the kibbutz was a radical experiment in communal living, gender equality, economic egalitarianism and the reorganisation of family life.

But in spite of its progressive ideals, there is a dark side to the kibbutz which is being told in the accounts of children who were raised in the communal ‘children’s houses’, suggesting this was an institution which victimised its offspring for the sake of ideology.

In this spare and lucid memoir, Neeman – a child of the kibbutz in the ‘60s – draws on the collective memory of the hundreds of thousands of people who grew up in kibbutzim during their height and who have intimately shared their memories with her. We Were the Future is more than merely a compelling personal account of growing up in a kibbutz: it is an unstintingly honest examination of the perils of organising society and a new lens through which to see the history of Israel.

Read an extract here

Reviews

‘An eye-opening look at a fascinating era in Israeli history and what happens when a child is part of a sociopolitical experiment’ Kirkus

‘Extraordinarily affecting’ Jewish Ideas Daily

‘Marvelous, precise and wise’ Haaretz

'Readers curious about life on a kibbutz in the 1960s will love this poetic autobiography. Readers who have never wondered about life on a kibbutz should read this book anyway, as they will be well rewarded . . . The history of the movement and her own kibbutz are deftly woven together, and readers come away with a sense of this not as merely an autobiography of an individual woman but as the story of the hopes, dreams, and struggles of an entire movement. A spare, and startling book' Christine Engel, Booklist 

‘A charming, elegiac memoir of growing up on a kibbutz in Israel’s north’ Financial Times

‘Both beautifully lyric and devastatingly illuminating’ The Times of Israel

‘Neeman, an accomplished editor and novelist, writes about her kibbutz childhood with an imagistic, spare insightfulness. The result, translated by Sondra Silverston, is a rarely intimate portrait of the unusual collaborative communities on which Israel was founded’ The Jewish Daily Forward

 

Yael Neeman

About Yael Neeman

Yael Neeman was born in Kibbutz Yehiam in Israel. She is the internationally bestselling and award-winning author of two novels, Orange Tuesday and Rumors About Love, and a collection of stories, The Option (nominated for the Sapir Prize for Literature in 2014)In 2015 she won the Israel Prime Minister's Prize for Hebrew Writers.