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Dearest Anne

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  129 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
“I read the book with wonder and emotion. The love between Michaela and Rivi is depicted precisely and delicately. . . . It’s beautiful.” —Amos Oz

“More than anything else, the book is a temple of love to the imaginary, and to literature as an option for deep and vigorous living.” — Time Out

Written by best-selling Israeli author Judith Katzir, Dearest Anne is a stirring re
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by The Feminist Press at CUNY (first published January 1st 2006)
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334th out of 387 books — 40 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 283)
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Jun 03, 2009 Alan rated it really liked it
I'm a little conflicted about how to review this boo. On one hand, it's well-written and provocative and it does present a beautifully-observed time capsule of Israel in the late 1970s when the country's youth was freeing itself from the strictures of classic Zionism and opening itself to the world of hedonistic sexual liberation.
On the other hand, there's something very nasty, rotten and vile at the center of the book that the author only half-acknowledges -- an affair between a 14-year-old gir
Jean-Paul Werner Walshaw-Sauter
Katzir is a courageous author and she was written a deeply engaging and captivating novel. She tackles a difficult topic; a same-sex relationship and love affair between a 14 year old schoolgirl and her 26 year old teacher, who has recently got married. The structure of the novel is highly successful: Rivi Shenhar returns to Haifa to attend Michaela's funeral and unearths the secret diaries that she addressed to Anne Frank in her youth. These diaries chronicle her childhood infatuation with Mich ...more
Aug 29, 2015 Korey rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. First off, the writing was really beautiful and poetic. This does not read like a translated book at all. The command of language is so great I find it hard to believe this wasn't written in English. In addition to the glorious prose, the characters are complicated and fascinating. Rivi herself is a great narrator with an incredibly rich inner life (even if her precocity occasionally seemed inauthentic) and the damaged adults that surround her are similarly compelling, ...more
Deborah Feingold
Jan 13, 2016 Deborah Feingold rated it really liked it
A beautiful, albeit cautionary story of forbidden love (lesbian and teacher/student). I'm curious about the pairing as the latter, by definition unethical if not abusive, muddies the unadulterated passion and discovery of the former. Perhaps that's the point; nothing is only what it is and opportunities for transformation are elusive. Setting - at least time component - is all important as Rivi not only handicapped (or advantaged?) by youth but by lack of conceptual knowledge of lesbian love in ...more
Leore Joanne Green
This book filled me with so many feelings. It felt odd to read a book about my city, the city I grew up in, the city my parents grew up in, especially since they were young adults at the end of the seventies, like the characters in the book. As I read, Katzir's words raised a ghostly image in front of my eyes, of a Haifa that I, as a nineties child, I have never known.

After finishing this book I feel odd for not having felt odd, reading a love story between a 14 year old girl and a 26 year old
Elevate Difference
In the novel, Dearest Anne, a young Israeli girl chronicles the tumultuous two years she spends in a clandestine relationship with her married literature teacher. Rivi is enamored of her beautiful teacher, Michaela, from the moment she sees her. In Rivi's eyes, Michaela is perfect and soon the feelings she has for her develop into something more powerful than just a student-teacher admiration. At first, Rivi harbors her secret crush, confiding only in her journal the confusing desire she feels f ...more
Netty robinson-booth
I couldn't go any further than halfway with this book, it's getting a bit erotic for my liking, I tend to like erotica if it's between adults but a 14 year old is pushing me way past my limits, maybe I should have read more of the reviews on this book, if I had have done I would have stayed well clear..
I didn't for once consider this story would have sex scenes described, a crush,a forbidden love but no not sex..
I'm officially creeped out and also learned a hard lesson......

Saying all that this
Feb 01, 2014 Aziza rated it it was amazing
As Hannah Hovnat-Tamir points out in the afterword, not only is Dearest Ann a bildungsroman but it is also a historical document rich in literary allusions and social contexts. That said, reader be aware that the novel addresses some of the most controversial taboos left in this day and age. Personally, the way the adulteress’ husband was neglected and lied to bothered me more than the fact that the book was about a lesbian relationship between an underage, but precocious student and her teacher ...more
Elide Barbanti
Feb 10, 2016 Elide Barbanti rated it liked it
Quando ho acquistato questo libro l'ho fatto perchè lo osservavo da giorni sullo scaffale più alto della libreria in cui ho svolto il mio tirocinio universitario. Ogni volta che alzavo gli occhi lo trovavo lì, intento quasi a "fissarmi". Così un giorno mi sono decisa a prenderlo e devo ammettere che in parte non me ne sono pentita. Il tema raccontato è sicuramente delicato, reso ancora più "tabù" dall'ambientazione in cui il tutto si svolge: "Carissima Anna" parla infatti dell'amore tra Rivi, st ...more
Jul 04, 2009 CuriousLibrarian rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, best-reads-2009
This book drops you into the end of the story with no hints of where you are. For this reason, I had to try it twice before it took. And I'm glad that I did. The story picks up right around the time that Rivi finds her childhood diaries. So push on until there if you are unsure of this book, then decide.

Most of the book is Rivi's childhood diaries about her relationship with her female teacher. They don't read to me like an actual young girl writing, but if you ignore that, it actually works (th
Jun 09, 2008 pb rated it it was amazing
Great book, a well written story about a 14 year old girl who falls in love with her literature teacher, a woman. Definitely a controversial subject, and you can't help but get caught up in their story. You feel their love and the mutual affection they share with each other. I found myself rooting for them, to continue their relationship without being found out. There are some great quotes throughout the book regarding life, love and happiness. There's also the connection to Anne Frank, to whom ...more
Apr 13, 2009 Lauren rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sue P, Brenna, Amy F, Tamlyn, Leora, all the Jewish girls.......
Recommended to Lauren by: Miriam H.
This was an interesting novel about a young woman who has an affair with her literature teacher. The story is set in 1970s Carmel and various political and social issues In Israel crop up during the story. It is first person and includes the young girl's diaries where she fancied herself writing to Anne Frank - the ultimate diary keep for young Jewish girls of which I was one - as Kitty, the name Frank gave her diary.

The book was controversial in Israel, getting attacked by gay and lesbian crit
Margaret Klein
Aug 04, 2014 Margaret Klein rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Quite frankly this was a great book. I am surprised by this. The topic is difficult. Impossible love is what the cover calls it. Not that it is lesbian. No, rather a 27 year old teacher and a 14 year old student. This relationship should not have happened. Even if the student had a crush on her teacher, it should not have progressed to where it did. This is a story about love and betrayal. It is by far and away the best prose I have read in a very long time. It reads like poetry. Kudos to the tr ...more
Rachel Gluck
Mar 25, 2012 Rachel Gluck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heartbreaking, yet thinking, intellectual tale. A very in depth coming of age story that tests the limits of right and wrong within the context of what's acceptable in society. Both women are difficult characters to wrap one's mind around, and perhaps that's the point. In making them difficult to swallow, it's perhaps easier, in retrospect, to frame the whole story. Just a truly difficult piece of fiction to wrap my mind around. A very, very good read, though. Complicated.
Amy  Blue
May 05, 2012 Amy Blue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Kein Wort, das die Großartigkeit dieses Buches wiedergeben kann - außer eben: großartig!
Voll wunderbarer Sätze, die man gar nicht alle behalten kann. Immer an der Grenze zum Kitsch, aber dann wird die Kurve doch noch haarscharf genommen und das ist genau das, was das Ganze so wundervoll macht.

Ich war und bin begeistert und kann einfach keine Rezension schreiben, die der Geschichte gerecht wird.
Dec 14, 2011 Daniel added it
I was born and raised in Haifa, the city the story takes place in (well, most of it) so from the beginning to the end I was overwhelmed by the sceneries and the setting. I felt like the characters could have been my neighbours. It's not for everyone though. Some may be appalled by the teacher/teenage student relationship going on.
Sep 09, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
Wow...this novel is definitely not like any other I've ever read! Fascinating on so many levels...Judith Katzir pushes boundaries in a brave, compelling way.
Aug 06, 2008 Neena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are an Israel-phile as I am, you'll enjoy this story of forbidden love set in Haifa during the era of free love.
Jennifer Geller
Feb 09, 2011 Jennifer Geller rated it it was ok
well written but the story is a little odd so I found it distracting at times.
Jul 27, 2008 Reader rated it it was amazing
Disturbing, haunting, beautifully written.
Feb 19, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
A beautiful and touching story.
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Born in Haifa in 1963, Judith Katzir studied literature and cinema at Tel Aviv University. At present, she is an editor at Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah Publishing House and teaches creative writing. Katzir, a bestselling author in Israel, has published collections of stories and novellas, novels and children's books. In addition to literary prizes for individual stories, Katzir has received th ...more
More about Judith Katzir...

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“There are moments that I know I will long for even as I live them.” 11 likes
“We build fortresses around ourselves in order to protect the things that are important to us, and we forget that what's really important to us is the connection with other people.” 3 likes
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