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The Hidden of Things

Twelve Stories of Love & Longing

Yael Unterman

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  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.50" x 8.50"
  • ISBN: 978-1-59287-102-5
  • Publication Date: 2013-12-23
  • Yotzeret Publishing

Availability: In stock

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The Hidden of Things

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Young men and women in Jerusalem, London, and New York seek identity, spiritual clarity, and that nice Jewish girl or boy. Along the way, they manage to survive being pelted with fruit in synagogue, internet dating during the Second Intifada, a romance with a potential terrorist, an existential crisis on an El Al plane, and being blacklisted from dating in Manhattan of 2029. Nothing can eliminate the hope of these heroic individuals. Unsure if they are starring in a tragedy or a comedy, they persistently aim for a deeper connection, a more meaningful life.

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“From Zion has come forth an outrageous, wise, and funky voice. I’ve already started re-reading it, that’s how good this book is.” —Ruchama King Feuerman, author of In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist and Seven Blessings

“In Yael Unterman’s stunning debut collection The Hidden of Things, she presents her readers with a gallery of compelling characters in headlong pursuit of the spirit and the flesh. That they often find these goals to be mutually exclusive turns out to be a source of both heartbreak and riotous humor. How she manages to embrace such extremes in stories that are also poignant, passionate, and brave is a mystery whose result is a deeply irresistible experience.” — Steve Stern, author of The Frozen Rabbi and The Book of Mischief

“It would be wrong to characterize Yael Unterman simply as a writer—she is a force, a spirit of turbulent and joyful query. Her devotion to ideas, to Jewish thought and literature in particular, to two languages, Hebrew and English, the intersections of Orthodoxy and the contemporary world, can’t help but fascinate readers. Her sketches of life in modern Israel and the Diaspora evoke the sweetness and melancholy of Chekhov. Her passion to understand, to find a way to live a life of meaning both in a commitment to tradition and to derech eretz, the way of the world, however, give them the spice of something unique and original. One feels throughout The Hidden of Things a furious and original energy. These stories are not just witty and insightful. They search the world of modern Jewish life in Jerusalem, the suburb of Katamon, the frustrations and foibles of religious women, for answers. The plight of the woman and man who find themselves single in their early thirties searching references from matchmakers, friends, Internet dating sites for a soul-mate is anatomized often with a breathless laughter.” —Mark Jay Mirsky, author of Blue Hill Avenue and Dante, Eros and Kabbalah, and editor of Fiction magazine

“In this rollicking book—simultaneously empathetic, tragic, and comic—the playful scenes and the ironies, the joy in language, and the cleverness of the dialogue delight. Unterman has an Austen-esque touch where seemingly small moments are experienced as profound; at the same time, a Malamudian darkness permeates some of the stories and sinks into the soul. But the hiddenness of things in this book is in its female friendships. This hiddenness illuminates a quiet undercurrent of support, compassion, humor, comfort, kindness, and connection. You will find both kinds of blessings in this book: hidden and revealed.” —Eve Grubin, author of Morning Prayer

“Each story is a jewel strung upon a glittering chain that joins complexity with deep insight. I found it difficult to stop reading. The insights into singleton Orthodox life for women and for men were cogent and compelling. ‘Katamonsta’ and ‘The Hidden of Things’ quite blew me away—the former with its brash humour flecked with poignant awareness and intelligence, and the latter with its agonising representation of a woman in search of her identity and of peace, possibly in all the wrong places.” —Yvonne Fein, author of April Fool and The Torn Messiah

Yael Unterman

Yael Unterman grew up in the UK and now resides in Jerusalem. After attending an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish high school, she moved to Israel to pursue advanced Torah studies, and went on to earn a BA in Psychology and advanced degrees in Jewish History and Creative Writing. She lectures worldwide and has published in a variety of forums. Her first book, Nehama Leibowitz: Teacher and Bible Scholar (Urim) was a finalist in the 2009 National Jewish Book Awards. Visit her website at yaelunterman.com.