Ravel, Edeet 1955-
RAVEL, Edeet 1955-
Female. Born 1955, in Kibbutz Sasa, Israel; Education: Hebrew University in Jerusalem, B.A., M.A. (English literature); Concordia University, M.A. (creative writing); McGill University, M.A., Ph.D. (Jewish studies). Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Film, theater, music.
Writer and educator. McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, instructor in religious studies; Concordia University, Montreal, instructor in creative writing; John Abbott College, Montreal, instructor in English literature.
Norma Epstein National Writing Award, 1994, for Lovers: A Midrash; Governor General's Award nomination, 2003, and Koret Jewish Book Award finalist, 2003-04, both for Ten Thousand Lovers.
Lovers: A Midrash (prose poems), NuAge Editions (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1994.
Ten Thousand Lovers, Perennial (New York, NY), 2003.
Look for Me, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor of stories to periodicals and anthologies.
Writer and educator Edeet Ravel, a native of Israel who lives and works in Canada, is the author of Lovers: A Midrash and Ten Thousand Lovers. Ravel was born in 1955 on Kibbutz Sasa near the Lebanese border, where she lived until 1962, when her family moved to Montreal. At age eighteen Ravel traveled to Israel to attend the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, returning to Montreal after finishing her studies. Ravel has earned five degrees, including a Ph.D. in Jewish studies, and has taught for more than twenty years at academic institutions such as McGill University.
In Lovers: A Midrash, Ravel examines "different elements of human love," observed Teya Rosenberg in Canadian Book Review Annual. "Midrash" refers to the ancient Hebrew tradition of reading and interpreting a biblical verse. Ravel's text functions as a midrash in which the author meditates on romantic love, sexual desire, and jealousy. Lovers is divided into six sections: "Departure," "Absence," and "Return" concern a group of Hebrew scholars and their teachings, while "New York," "London," and "Jerusalem" are contemporary tales narrated by women. Laurie Aikman, reviewing the work in Canadian Literature, stated that Ravel's "haunting prose poem novel is essentially an exploration of the complex interrelationships between interpretation, knowledge, communication, and desire."
Ten Thousand Lovers, a 2003 work nominated for the Governor General's Award, "is a story of passion, suffering, and love concerning a relationship between a reluctant army interrogator and an emigrant Canadian student," remarked Nicolette Jones in Bookseller. Set in the 1970s, when the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands was relatively new, the work is narrated by Lily, now a middle-aged college professor. Lily recounts her affair with Ami, an Israeli interrogator whose conscience will not allow him to torture Arab prisoners, though he still must fulfill his duty to his country.
"Ravel clearly intends the split within Ami to stand as a political metaphor for Israel," Diane Cole noted in Jewish Week. "If the lovers' struggle to reconcile idealistic principles with reality is a theme that runs through their romance, in Ravel's view, it is also the challenge that Israel faces." Library Journal contributor Molly Abramowitz called Ten Thousand Lovers "a passionate and troubling debut novel," and Booklist critic Ilene Cooper wrote that "the textured personal story rises above its political context like a melody soaring beyond the steady rhythm pulsing below it."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, Ilene Cooper, September 15, 2003, review of Ten Thousand Lovers, p. 212.
Bookseller, September 13, 2002, Nicolette Jones, "The Philosophical Detective," p. 28.
Canadian Book Review Annual, 1995, Teya Rosenberg, review of Lovers: A Midrash, p. 198.
Canadian Literature, winter, 1996, Laurie Aikman, review of Lovers, pp. 120-121.
Jewish Week, November 26, 2003, Diane Cole, "An Enduring Struggle."
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2003, review of Ten Thousand Lovers, p. 932.
Library Journal, September 1, 2003, Molly Abramowitz, review of Ten Thousand Lovers, p. 210.
Montreal Mirror, November 13-19, 2003, Juliet Waters, "Inquisitor Love."
New York Times Book Review, February 15, 2004, Brigitte Frase, "The Interrogator," p. 19.
Edeet Ravel Home Page,http://www.edeet.com (April 20, 2004).
HarperCollins Web site,http://www.harpercollins.com/ (April 20, 2004).
Sh'ma Web site,http://www.shma.com/ (April 20, 2004), Susan Berrin, "A Writing Life."*