Na'ama Newman wakes up one morning to a new reality. Her husband Udi, formerly a healthy, active tour guide, announces that he can no longer move his legs. The paralysis is diagnosed as psychosomatic - Udi has gone on strike and Na'ama must cope with the crisis, while balancing the demands of work and motherhood.
The plot moves swiftly from this starting point, and Shalev depicts the complexities of intimate relationships with daring perceptiveness. It is a unique and intense novel, compulsively readable and extraordinarily insightful.
Husband and Wife brilliantly captures the vulnerability and deceptive comforts of lives intertwined, as well as the near impossibility of setting out to disentangle them without any casualties.
ZERUYA SHALEV, poet and novelist, was raised on a kibbutz in Israel and now lives in Jerusalem. She has a Master's degree in biblical studies and is chief literary editor of an Israeli publishing house. Love Life, her first work of fiction, won the Golden Book Prize in Israel.