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My Mother Was a Bag Lady

When Dora and her eight-year-old daughter, Josiane are arrested in France, they are unable to produce on demand a one-franc coin, legal proof that they are not vagrants. To the detective holding their identity papers, the solution is simple. Penniless, unwanted, itinerant and Jewish, they must be shipped back to the Promised Land. But, this fresh start in Israel comes at a price. Dora's hostile neighbours are soon persecuting her openly for her foreignness and eccentricity. As she tries to make their tiny asbestos hut a home, their few possessions begin to disappear. Worse are the cat-calls in the street and the constant threat of physical violence. Ostracised from their community, Dora and her daughter face the world together. But soon, Josiane must come to terms with the truth about her mother.
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Beautifully written and utterly original in its subject - this book will get huge attention For fans of Dave Pelzer, Andrea Ashworth and Lorna Sage As shocking as Rock Me Gently, and as charming and eccentric as Sleeping Arrangements


About the Author

Josiane Behmoiras was born in Paris in 1953 and emigrated to Israel in 1961, where she later studied film and worked as a freelance documentary director for Israeli television. In 1985 she emigrated to Australia. She completed a Masters degree in creative writing at the University of Melbourne in 2004, the year her first short stories were published. This is her first book.


'A revelation of salty poetry and raw life, worked out in her radiant voice' Andrea Ashworth 'The brilliance of the book - which is everywhere dense, rich and associative - is that Behmoiras leaves her mother entirely in the precincts of her madness; she does not try to explain it or to rationalise it; she does not attempt to defend her mother's behaviour or to condemn the behaviour of others. This, Behmoiras seems to suggest, simply is what is: the book is pure testimony' Guardian 'The exoticism of Israel is beautifully evoked, but its riches are juxtaposed with the abuse both mother and daughter suffer. Behmoiras conveys much feeling without slipping into sentimentality' Harper's Bazaar 'Sweet and sad reflections on a provocatively unusual mother-and-daughter relationship' Good Housekeeping

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