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House of Many Tongues

House of Many Tongues

Jonathan Garfinkel

Playwrights Canada Press

Finalist for the 2011 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama


"Playwright Jonathan Garfinkel attacks the Israeli-Palestinian question through laughs and magic realism." —Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine


During the Six Day War, an Israeli general found an abandoned house and made it his home. Forty years later, the general, along with his imaginative and distant son Alex, live in peaceful solitude. When a Palestinian writer shows up with is daughter and lays claim to the house he left decades ago, an internal house war ensues. The bathroom is seized, a fig tree is destroyed, and the basement becomes a shrine in the resulting chaos. Relenting, both men strike a deal to share the house. Somehow these two families are going to have to live together—if they don’t kill each other first.


Jonathan Garfinkel has written a book of poetry, Glass Psalms, and the book Ambivalence: Adventures in Israel and Palestine (published in Canada, the US, and the UK; forthcoming in Germany and Hungary). His play The Trials of John Demjanjuk: A Holocaust Cabaret has been performed in Canada and Germany and was also published by Playwrights Canada Press. His articles have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Pen International, Judische Allgemeine, and The Walrus. Jonathan divides his time between Berlin, Budapest, and Toronto.

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