Jamile is the daughter of Jewish-Arab immigrants and lives in the bustling metropolis of São Paulo, Brazil, in the shadow of World War II. She needs a lot of imagination and perseverance to overcome religious rules she has to live by but often does not understand. Squeezed between strict parents and social constraints she passionately seeks possibilities and new conditions of her existence. From a girl raised in the austerity of Jewish-Arab culture with a rigid patriarchal tradition, she evolves into an independent woman looking for her own relationship to religion and life. Jamile tells the story of her life in six episodes, all taking place on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and holiest of all days in the Jewish calendar.
In each of the six episodes, Jamile is passing a different stage in her life, discovering at each time new significances Yom Kippur has for her. Everyday life is full of minor and major cruelties but the author’s powerful and humorous language turns Jamile’s underlying drama into a story full of love and wit.
It was chosen by the jury of Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels to be presented at the Spiegelzelt at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2013.
Publication/Status: By Glardon & Behr (Germany) in 2013. [312 pages]