Part reportage, part parable, part excavation of history, this jigsaw puzzle of compelling tales constitutes an exile's nostalgic tour into Israel's culture of denial. Captivating in its beguiling, seeming simplicity, Picnic Grounds is a novel built from the layers of overlapping lives and stories, much like the villages and cities of Israel are constructed from a culture superimposed over the palimpsest of history. Landscape, language, and the manufacture of knowledge are deconstructed by a unique new voice, writing in a language that is not quite English, from a life that is anything but post-colonial.
Oz Shelach was born in West Jerusalem in 1968 and has been a journalist and editor for Israeli radio and magazines. He currently lives in New York.