Oh Sweden! Oh Israel!

Stephan Mendel-Enk

Published: 7 March 2013
Trade Paperback, A5
148x210mm, 140 pages
ISBN: 9781846274152

Translated by Michael Lundin


Around the time of Jacob's bar mitzvah, his mother leaves his father for another man, and he is not even Jewish. It's 1987, the First Intifada is about to break out, and the Jewish community in Gothenburg, many of them descendants of Holocaust survivors, is under a certain amount of strain. Jacob relates his family's break-up in the context of a fragmented diaspora community orientated towards Israel and America with humour and affection. Mendel-Enk's debut novel is a portrait of a Swedish Jewish community, filled with comedy, tragedy and zest for life.

About the author

Image of Stephan Mendel-Enk

Stephan Mendel-Enk was born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden. He has written for the soccer journal Offside, contributed to Sweden's largest daily Dagens Nyheter and worked for National Swedish Radio. In 2004, he published With an Obvious Sense of Style, a highly-praised book about masculinity and violence. Oh Sweden! Oh Israel! is his first novel. More about the author


‘A brilliant, funny, touching and sad story with many compassionate portraits of people living their lives with their hearts somewhere else’ Books of the Year



‘A novel that takes your breath away... as compact and wonderful as Matzah bread, it is skillfully depicted and deeply affecting’

‘As Jacob confronts the harsh realities of adult life, his witty observations capture how people react when their worlds fall in... An irreverent portrayal of a small and modernising society’ Sarah Gilmartin

‘Mendel-Enk is brilliant in his humorous, devastating and loving depiction of Jewish life in the Diaspora... it shifts from being zany - so that one laughs out loud - to being truly serious and emotional’

‘One of those rare bestsellers that persuades both the casual reader and the selective literary snob’

‘The lives and sorrows of post-Holocaust Jewish community in Sweden are revealed with tender clarity and dark, wry humour’ Tina Jackson

‘Touching [and] beautifully observed’ Jane Horsham

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