Fields of Exile

Judith is a young woman who lived in Israel for a decade, was a peace activist there, and defines herself as “left-wing,” yet in graduate school back in Canada, she discovers that vilification of Israel is the expected norm. When the keynote speaker for Anti-Oppression Day turns out to be a supporter of terrorist attacks not only against Israeli military targets, but also against Israeli civilians and Jews around the world, Judith protests. As a result, she is marginalized by the faculty and her peers, and her life begins to unravel. This is a moving novel about love, betrayal, and the courage to stand up for what one believes, as well as a searing indictment of the hypocrisy and intellectual sloth that threaten the integrity of our society. Available on May 3 in Canada, on May 27 in the USA, and on June 25 in the UK. It is already available in all these places for order on Amazon.

Advance Praise for Fields of Exile

From Phyllis Chesler, Thane Rosenbaum, Irwin Cotler, Steve Stern, Nava Semel, Naim Kattan, Alice Shalvi, and Ann Birstein

Nora Gold’s Fields of Exile is a gripping tale. It is also a novel of ideas in the tradition of George Elliot, Doris Lessing and Marge Piercy, but one that is filled with real characters, a literary sensibility, and a powerful example of the near-fatal consequences of anti-Israel aggression. The heroine Judith’s vulnerability, dreaminess, erotic imagination, and knowledge of Jewish traditions in both kitchen and yeshiva drew me close and kept me there, and I could not put this book down. I wanted to scream to her, though: “Danger Ahead! Proceed with Caution,” but she could not hear me. I hope and pray that this novel’s readers do. — Phyllis Chesler, The New Antisemitism and An American Bride in Kabul Nora Gold’s Fields of Exile restores one’s faith in the possibilities of the novel. It is truly a novel of ideas, a brave book that ventures into territory from which nonfiction has shied away and even obscured the truth. With a lyrical flair Nora Gold has delivered a novel that casts a light onto the ivory tower in ways that should unsettle the faculty lounge. —Thane Rosenbaum, author of The Golems of Gotham and Second Hand Smoke Nora Gold’s Fields of Exile is a fine novel: poignant, passionate, compelling, and funny, an adventure of the heart and mind. I don’t think anybody has nailed the way anti-Israel feeling gives the license for antisemitism as well as Gold has here, and you won’t find a more unflinching examination of the terrible ironies inherent in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or a more compelling portrait of the personal toll exacted from those who these ironies with courage. This is an emotionally fraught, distinguished novel, often as humorous as it is harrowing. — Steve Stern, author of The Frozen Rabbi and The Book of Mischief An engrossing read. A revealing and searing portrayal of moral courage and commitment amidst hypocrisy and betrayal, seen through a cross-cultural looking-glass. — Irwin Cotler, Emeritus Professor of Law, McGill University In Fields of Exile, Nora Gold succeeds fully in making her characters debate social and political themes as an expression of their personal complex contradictions. They are luminously alive. This novel is about men and women who are trying to understand and define their relations to each other, as well as their place in society. Wonderful reading. — Naïm Kattan, author of Farewell Babylon and Reality and Theatre The yearning for true peace and human compassion blooms in these fields of exile. Judith, the protagonist, much like Nora Gold the author, searches relentlessly for ways to fix the flaws of our world. This is a novel written with an open heart and a loving hand, and with the hope that literature can somehow make amends. After crossing many fields of exile we, like Judith, shall finally find our way home. — Nava Semel, author of And the Rat Laughed and Paper Bride “My heart is in the East and I am in the far, far West.” Seldom has anyone expressed so well as Nora Gold the yearning for Zion that remains within every fibre of one who has been torn away from a life of fulfilment in Israel and condemned unwillingly to return to the anti-Zionism/antisemitism of exile. A brave book that courageously takes on the ambivalences of Jewish life in the Diaspora – ambivalences that mirror those of the protagonist, torn between two very different lovers. — Alice Shalvi, Israel Prize laureate A novel about a difficult subject ─ antisemitism in the university ─ written with passion and fervour. — Ann Birstein, author of Summer Situations and The Rabbi on Forty-seventh Street

Reviews, Interviews, Articles, Guest Blogs, and Media Coverage


Nora Gold with Antanas Sileika, Director of the Humber School of Writers, who interviewed/conversed with Gold at the Book Launch of Fields of Exile, Koffler Centre of the Arts, May 29, 2014.
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