Monday, June 17, 2013

RainTaxi Raves Over The Inbetween People in Summer Issue Review

In the summer edition of the quarterly book review publication RainTaxi, Emma McEvoy's literary middle-eastern narrative The Inbetween People was highly praised in a two-page spread.

"Emma McEvoy’s ambitious and moving novel engages the viscerality of violence and its results, wrestles with the ethically essential imaginative task of understanding another’s human motivations and emotions, and explores the myriad in which people get lost in the land of Israel: Arab families are forced from their ancestral homes; IDF soldiers fight in “those neutral, passionless places” of the Sinai desert; conscientious objectors refused to serve past the 1967 borders wind up in prison; an Arab-Israeli IDF volunteer can’t regain his orientation; terrorist attacks disrupt daily activities; and, finally, a wife leaves her husband with only memories and cold dreams and the task of writing letter after letter...

Tragedy is a constant and McEvoy’s writing is most remarkable at capturing the sense of dumbfoundedness, communicating a stunned inability to communicate, as when one imprisoned objector speaks to his wife of “trying to be a decent human being,” and is accused of cowardice. The characters here occasionally stumble into wooden rhetoric—“there is goodness,” or “the past is the past”—but such statements heighten an emotional tautness within the novel. This underlying strain conjures precisely the tension in Israel during the last Intifada.

McEvoy has an eye, too, for specific visual and aural details of the place, the whirr of automated sprinklers, how “below you the lights of distant Galilee villages glisten like raw diamonds.” Yet is is on the emotional level that this book is most important, most brave; it insists that one must “try to imagine” the actions and experiences of others.

This is a stunning book, important not only in relation to the Israeli/Palestinian situation it addresses, but, indeed, as a wrenching work of literature explicitly concerned with the ethical functions and responsibilities of the human imagination." --RainTaxi

Look for the full review in the summer edition of RainTaxi.

The Inbetween People is available now from The Permanent Press!