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Fields of Exile

Winner of the 2015 Canadian Jewish Literary Award

Cynthia Ozick: Brave and luminous. I read this novel with nonstop enthralled admiration.
Steve Stern: Poignant, passionate, compelling, and funny. A distinguished novel.
Phyllis Chesler: A novel of ideas in the tradition of George Eliot, Doris Lessing, and Marge Piercy.
Ruth Wisse: I am grateful for this work of fiction.
Thane Rosenbaum: Fields of Exile restores one’s faith in the possibilities of the novel.

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.

Praise for Fields of Exile

READ HERE: Praise from Cynthia Ozick, Phyllis Chesler, Thane Rosenbaum, Ellen Frankel, Steve Stern, Irwin Cotler, Naim Kattan, Nava Semel, Alice Shalvi, Ann Birstein, and Pamela Ryder

Brave and luminous. I read this novel with nonstop enthralled admiration.
Cynthia Ozick

Nora Gold’s Fields of Exile is a gripping tale. It is also a novel of ideas in the tradition of George Eliot, 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, author of 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

My God, what a masterful work! What evocative rendering of feelings, what incisive examination of issues, and what well-developed relationships! I was fully engaged the whole time I was reading and have come back to the novel in memory several times since putting it down. And the subject couldn’t be more timely. A fabulous accomplishment!
Ellen Frankel, former Editor-in-Chief and CEO of the Jewish Publication Society

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 face 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

A flawless novel. Nora Gold effortlessly melds passion and politics in a read that no one should miss. A great book that deserves a permanent place in the canon of the diaspora.
Pamela Ryder, author of Correction of Drift and A Tendency To Be Gone

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

  • Review in – May 23, 2016 – Norm  Goldman
  • Review in Hadassah Magazine – Gloria Goldreich
  • Review in Lilith Magazine – Yona Zeldis McDonough
  • Review in Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies – Goldie Morgentaler
  • Radio interview on Voice of Israel – Campus Antisemitism Meets Fiction in Fields of Exile – Interviewer Judy Lash Balint
  • Essay/Review in Mosaic Magazine – The Herd of Independent Minds – Ruth Wisse
  • Review in Association of Jewish Libraries – Yossi Gremillion
  • Radio interview on Jewish Digest (Radio Centreville) – Interviewer Leslie Lutsky
  • Interview with Dundurn News – Writing Fiction: Nora Gold’s Why, When, and What
  • Interview in Brockton Writers Series Blog – Brockton Writers Series with Nora Gold
  • Radio interview on That’s Life (NSN) – Interviewer Miriam Wallach
  • Radio interview on 96.3 FM / MZ Radio / Zoomer – Interviewer John van Driel
  • In-depth interview in The Puritan – We Must Use, and Not Waste, This Power: An Interview with Nora Gold – Interviewer Tracy Kyncl
  • Review in the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin – Novel Captures the Effect of Anti-Israel Bigotry on Jewish University Students – Michael Regenstreif
  • Review in the Jerusalem Post (Weekend Magazine) – The New Anti-Semitism in the Fields of ‘Galut’ – Atara Beck
  • Op-ed review in Arutz Sheva (Israel National News) – A Novel of Ideas in the Era of Anti-Israelism – Rochel Sylvetsky
  • Review in Jewish Book Week (JBW) Book Club (London) – Fields of Exile by Nora Gold – Lucy Silver
  • Review in the Jewish Press – An Israel Love Story with a Twist – Lori Lowenthal Marcus
  • Radio interview on Let’s Get Lit (TLV1) – Interviewer Ilene Prusher
  • Review in Jewish Renaissance (UK) – Fields of Exile by Nora Gold – Shoshana Ish-Horowicz
  • Feature article in The Times of Israel – Leftist Canadian Author Explains her Slow Drift to the Right –  Michael Posner
  • Interview in Lilith Magazine – Golden Words: Q&A With Author, Editor, Activist Nora Gold – Yona Zeldis McDonough
  • Review in the Jerusalem Post – Israel Hate Up Close and Personal – Petra Marquardt-Bigman
  • Review in Shalom Toronto – First Novel About Campus Antisemitism Profoundly Disturbing – Doris Strub Epstein
  • Interview in Open Book Toronto – On Writing, with Nora Gold – Interviewer Grace O’Connell
  • Review in the Canadian Jewish News – Novel Lowers Reader into the Cauldron of Antisemitism on Campus – Bill Gladstone
  • Interview in Shalom Life – Exclusive Interview with Toronto Jewish Literary Festival Authors Nora Gold and Matti Friedman – Interviewer Ashley Baylen
  • Guest blog #1 in The Jewish Book Council’s “The Prosen People” – Leah Goldberg, Me, and the Search for a Title for My New Book
  • Guest blog #2 in The Jewish Book Council’s “The Prosen People – Feeding Other Writers, and Myself
  • Guest blog in Open Book Ontario (Fiction Craft) – How Do You Choose Titles for Your Works? – Shaun Smith
  • Interview in My Bookshelf – Helpful to Israel and the Jewish People: An Interview with Nora Gold – Interviewer Erika Dreifus
  • Interview in The Whole Megillah – Guest: Nora Gold – Interviewer Barbara Krasner
  • Article in The Algemeiner – Looking at Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism From a Literary Perspective
  • Review at – Campus Antisemitism in Canada: Nora Gold’s Fields of Exile – Sarah Brown
  • Review in The Times of Israel – BDS in Canada: Through the Eyes of an Author – Marc Goldberg
  • Review in the Times of Israel – Fields of Antisemitism – Ellis Shuman
  • Article in the Toronto Star – The Real Agenda of Israel Apartheid Week
  • Fields of Exile was mentioned in The Forward (Erika Dreifus) as one of “The 5 Jewish Books to Read in 2014”


Gold with the winners in the other categories of Canadian Jewish Literary Awards – October 18, 2015
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Acclaimed actors Marilyn Lightstone (Toronto) and David Mandelbaum (New York) read an excerpt from Fields of Exile at the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto, on August 31, 2014, as part of Jewish Fiction .net’s fourth birthday celebration.