LIEBRECHT, SAVYON (1948– ), Hebrew
writer. Liebrecht was born in Munich to Holocaust survivors who immigrated
to Israel soon afterwards. She studied philosophy and literature at
Tel Aviv University and began publishing in 1986. Her first collection
of stories, Tappuḥim min ha-Midbar ("Apples from
the Desert," 1998) appeared in 1986. The title story tells
of a young teacher who stages a confrontation with a woman who apparently
was her father's mistress 30 years earlier. In other stories
Liebrecht introduces an Israeli Jewish woman who wishes to build a
room on the roof of her house, and an Arab worker; a woman who seeks
her daughter and learns thereby something about herself and her life;
and a woman whose son has become deeply religious. Other collections
include Susim al Kevish Gehah ("Horses on the Highway,"
1988); Sinit Ani Medabberet Elekha ("It's All
Greek to Me, He Said to Her," 1992); Ẓarikh Sof le-Sippur
Ahavah ("On Love Stories and Other Endings," 1995);
Nashim mitokh ha-Katalog ("Mail Order Women,"
2000); and Makom Tov la-Laylah ("A Good Place for the
Night," 2002). In the story "Excision," a grandmother
jaggedly shears her four-year-old granddaughter's beautiful
locks to eradicate lice because that is how they did it in the camps,
while in "Compassion," a Holocaust survivor imprisoned
by her Arab husband drowns her granddaughter to protect her from future
suffering. Liebrecht's recurring themes are Holocaust survivors'
lives in Israel half a century after the catastrophe; women's
experiences as wives and mothers; the tensions between Orthodox and
secular Israelis; and the relationships between individual Arabs and
Israelis. Informed by feminism, Liebrecht often describes women struggling
against their marginalized status in patriarchal Israeli society:
in "The Road to Cedar City" an Israeli woman, mocked
and humiliated by her husband and son during a trip in the United
States, asserts her independence by making contacts with an Arab wife.
The three novellas in the collection "Mail Order Women"
highlight the complex relationship developing when a foreign woman,
a Filipino caretaker or a Polish girl, enters the life of Israelis.
Liebrecht's novel, Ish, Ishah ve-Ish (1998; A Man
and a Woman and a Man, 2001) is the story of Hamutal, a married
woman, who has a brief love affair with a stranger she meets at the
geriatric ward where her sick mother and his dying father are both
hospitalized. In Ha-Nashim shel
Ch. Meckel, "Mitteilungen aus Israel," in: Die Zeit (September 11, 1992); N. Govrin, "Rishumah shel ha-Sho'ah be-Sipporet Nashim Ivrit," in: Reeh, 2 (1997), 11–34; L. Yudkin, "Holocaust Trauma in the Second Generation: The Hebrew Fiction of D. Grossman and S. Liebrecht," in: E. Sicher (ed.), Breaking Crystal (1998), 170–181; idem, "Second Generation and the Active Presence: Savyon Liebrecht," in: Literature in the Wake of the Holocaust (2003), 85–104; Y. Zerubavel, "Revisiting the Pioneer Past: Continuity and Change in Hebrew Settlement Narratives," in: Hebrew Studies, 41 (2000), 209–224; O. Bishko, "Ha-Zikah ha-Semantit-Logit shel ha-Petiḥut le-Guf ha-Sippur ha-Kaẓar: S. Liebrecht," in: Talpiyot, 11 (2000), 202–210; R. Heusser-Markun, "S. Liebrecht, israelische Alltagsanalytikerin," in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung (January 7, 2000); D. Abramovich, "Post Holocaust Identity and Unresolved Tension in Modern Day Israel: Liebrecht's 'Apples from the Desert,'" in: Women in Judaism, 3:1 (2002); N.B. Sokoloff, "Zionist Dreams and Savyon Liebrecht's 'A Cow Named Virginia,'" in: History and Literature (2002), 439–450; T. Elor, "Tappuḥim min ha-Midbar," in: Morot be-Yisrael (2002), 216–239; E. Trevisan Semi, "Migrant Women and Israeli Society in 'Nashim mitokh Katalog' by S. Liebrecht," in: Materia Giudaica, 8:2 (2003), 397–403; L. Yudkin, "Second Generation and the Active Presence: S. Liebrecht," in: Literature in the Wake of the Holocaust (2003), 85–104.
[Anat Feinberg (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.