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Translated by Dalya Bilu
"I cannot recall having encountered a new work of fiction that has engaged me as sharply as Past Continuous, both for its brilliant, formal inventiveness and for its relentless, truth-seeking scrutiny of moral life," wrote Irving Howe in The New York Review of Books. Yaakov Shabtai's "groundbreaking" (The Canadian Jewish News) novel assured this magnificent writer a preeminent place in the modern Jewish Canon. Past Continuous is a brilliant tour de force, a Joycean panorama of the lives of three men, their families, their lovers, and their friends in the quintessentially modern city of Tel Aviv. This is as much a novel about Tel Aviv its landscape, its idiosyncratic atmosphere, and its history as it is about the human condition.
"Seldom in literature do we penetrate so far into the mysteries of family life Shabtai's novel shows us how the sterner, cruder life of earlier times has given way to the anxious anomie of the present." The New Republic
Yaakov Shabtai (1934-1981) is the author of novels, plays, short stories, and a children's book. He was awarded the 1986 Kenneth B. Smilen Literary Award and in 1999, the Tel Aviv Municipality named a street after him in a new district of the city.