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Wandering Star

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  586 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews

“This is Nobel-quality writing, an international author with a mature style telling a story to the peak of his capacity. The English language needs more of it.” From the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature, Wandering Star is the story of two young women, one uprooted by the Holocaust and the other by the founding of the state of Israel.  Bearing witness to the bo

Paperback, 328 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Curbstone Books (first published May 5th 1992)
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Sep 18, 2014 Sawsan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
أول قراءة لجان لوكليزيو كانت قصص قصيرة موضوعاتها جديدة ومختلفة
لكن هذه الرواية كان الملل هو المسيطر أثناء قراءتها
الكاتب يحكي عن استير الفتاة اليهودية وعن معاناة اليهود فترة الحرب العالمية التانية
الخوف والهروب من الألمان, والرغبة في الهجرة إلى فلسطين أرض الميعاد
ومع وصول استير لفلسطين ننتقل في جزء صغير من الرواية لنجمة الفتاة الفلسطينية التي تُطرد هي وأهلها من بيوتهم وأرضهم
وتحكي عن رحلة العذاب والتهجير, وحياة البؤس والمعاناة في مخيمات اللجوء
ولأجل أن تجد استير مكان جديد تستقر فيه يكون على نجمة أن
Jul 08, 2014 Ahmed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
نوبل 2008.
لن نتعمق فى نوايا الكاتب ولا دوافعه لكتابة هذا العمل لأن هذا لا يعنينى بصراحه , فالمهم هو العمل بين يدى .
اهدى الكاتب عمله إلى : الأطفال الأسرى.
عمل انسانى بامتياز.تتساوى أمامه وبداخله كل الجنسيات والأديان والعقائد.
هيلين (إستير) اليهوديه الجميله ونجمه الفلسطينيه الساحرة
حياة بالكربون : تتشابه مع بعضهما جدا باختلاف الظروف وحتى اختلاف المجتمعات والعقائد.
إستير : تحت اضطهاد فاشية الحرب العالميه الثانيه ضد اليهود فى هذه الحرب والتى نجحوا فى تطبيق هذا الاضطهاد عندما واتتهم الفرصه فى تطبيقه على
Jan 01, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve had a mixed experience with Nobel Prize winners that I’ve recently read. The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek was challenging to say the least, and Auto-da-Fe by Elias Canetti was bizarre. On the other hand, Beloved by Toni Morrison was a revelation, and The Double by José Saramago was very entertaining. But Wandering Star aroused intense feelings of melancholy about the Arab-Israeli conflict and of anger about international indifference to the persisting plight of refugees all over the wo ...more
Maryam  Abdelhameed
<<ألا تشرق الشمس على الجميع؟؟>>
هذا هو المنظور الذي يعالج منه الكاتب القضية،، قضية فلسطين وإسرائيل واللاجئين والأسرى
منذ البداية يسعى لوكليزيو الحائز على نوبل 2008 إلى وضع الشعب اليهودي المستضعف المقهور...الخ -من وجهة نظره- في نفس السلة مع الشعب الفلسطيني الذي تم تهجيره من أرضه وسلبه حقوقه..
والحل هو: ألا تشرق الشمس على الجميع؟

خصص الكاتب 60 صفحة من أصل 318 للفتاة العربية نجمة لتحكي قصة تهجيرها القسري من بلدتها وحياتها البائسة في المخيم ثم هربها منه الى الأردن وباقي الصفخات 260 صفحة لـ (
Dec 01, 2008 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Le Clezio recently won the Nobel Prize, hence my interest in his books. Multnomah County Library system had only one of his books in an English translation: Wandering Star.

I felt the author's voice was too strong; I never forgot that a man was writing it. The protagonist is female. His characters do not seem realistic. Also, he left minor plots unfinished. Perhaps this is simply a poor translation or not one of his better works. I did not find this novel to be of Nobel prize winning standard, no
Mar 19, 2010 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of two young women transformed by war into "wandering stars." As a girl, Esther is hiding from the Germans in a mountain village while her father risks his life guiding other Jews to safety. After much suffering, Esther and her mother embark on an arduous journey to Jerusalem. But as she finally near the promised land, they pass a stream of newly displaced refugees, among them a Palestinian girl, Nejma. Based on this solitary connection, the story then cycles to Nejma who chronicles the ...more
Oct 19, 2010 Vernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It would be foolish for me to say this is the "best" novel I've ever read, that it is better than "Crime and Punishment," or "The Trial," or "The Three Musketeers." It is not. But I'm willing to state that "Wandering Star" is on that same exalted level. There is a difference between "good" or "very good," and "great," and "Wandering Star," in my opinion, is a great novel, and after reading only this one work by Le Clezio (something I'll be changing in the very near future) is good ...more
Catherine Bracy
I didn't love this book. It was a little too self-absorbedly, righteously French for me, I found myself rolling my eyes a lot at the descriptions. I can just picture the author chain smoking at some Parisian cafe while he was writing this.

Some background: it's about two girls, one Jewish (Esther) and one Palestinian (Nejma), who briefly cross paths in the midst of the 1948 war. My original thought that the handling of Nejma's story was...odd. It seemed oddly placed in the middle of the book, it
Rlmteacher marcus
Dec 13, 2009 Rlmteacher marcus rated it it was amazing
So far, this is an intriguing book that provides some insight from the children's perspective of what it was like to be in a country, like Italy, when Germany was marching throughout Europe. Some of the children are Jewish, others are not.
Laurel Deloria
Feb 01, 2016 Laurel Deloria rated it it was amazing
1CThis is Nobel-quality writing, an international author with a mature style telling a story to the peak of his capacity. The English language needs more of it. 1D 14 The Telegraph From the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature, Wandering Star is the story of two young women,
Jul 16, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The proofreader did a horrible job on this one, so I recommend another edition. Despite that, I loved it a lot. Fabulous descriptions of nature.
Feb 06, 2009 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written by the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature, this is the story of two young women who meet by chance in the turmoil of the Middle East.

During World War II, Esther is a Jewish girl living in a small town somewhere in southeastern France. The residents have an uneasy relationship with the Italian troops occupying the town, but they get along. When the Italians surrender and leave the town, the Jews know that the Germans will send them on a one-way trip to a concentration camp. So
Aug 15, 2013 Dokusha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Ein jüdisches Mädchen flieht im Frankreich des 2. Weltkriegs mit vielen anderen vor den heranrückenden Nazis. Eine bedrückende und entbehrungsreiche Reise steht ihr bevor, bevor sie endlich im gelobten Land ankommt. Auf dieser Reise findet sie auch den Zugang zur Religion, den sie in ihrem kommunistisch geprägten Elternhaus nicht hatte.
Doch auch hier herrscht Krieg, und sie kann ihren Frieden nicht finden. Die Hoffnung der Juden auf ihren eigenen Staat, der ihnen Sicherheit vor der Verfolgung bi
Sep 08, 2009 Joanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not only is this book written beautifully, but the author is able to capture multiple voices (from multiple characters and switching from first to third person). The central story is of a Jewish girl and her family who are always one step ahead of the Nazis in Europe until they make their way to Jerusalem and end up in Israel at the time of its founding. Once there she encounters an Arab woman escaping persecution in Israel and fleeing to a refugee camp. At that point the story switches to that ...more
Quotations from reviews on this book's jacket suggest that it gets beyond the politics of Israel and Palestine. This struck me as being bollox. Since I don't believe any such beyond is attainable. But having read the book, I sort of see what they mean. I see it as trying to create understanding and compassion that should be the place where the politics begin. The brief relationship (it can hardly be called that really) between the Israeli and the Palestinian woman here seemed to me sentimentaliz ...more
Jan 26, 2010 Carolinecarver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice imagery but doesn't seem like a Nobel-prize winner to me. It's not terribly memorable--maybe that's because the characters aren't so well-drawn. It started off so well, and I relished the parts in the village with the families and children and piano teacher, but the ending felt rushed, and I never much got into the Palestinian character. I did give it four stars, and it's certainly readable and well done, but when I heard Le Clezio got a Nobel, I wondered about it and thought it wasn't for ...more
Jul 02, 2009 Liana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is surely a very lyrical translation. I found myself much absorbed in the description of the vast, grassy landscape, the mountains, the trees, the desert, the rivers, the life and death of it. I really wish I didn't think of the word "dull" when trying to describe this book. It's actually got a sort of fragile beauty to it; a tenderness that can be easily be overturned by ambivalence if you let it.
Mohd Antar
Jul 12, 2016 Mohd Antar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
روايه جيده لكاتب حاصل علي جائزه نوبل,احداث كثيره وخطوط متوازيه تتقاطع بذكاء وحرفيه ومشاعر انسانيه فياضه عبر عنها بكل صدق وشفافيه..عمل ادبي يحوي كل عناصر النجاح بالرغم من اختلافنا معه فكريا في بعض النقاط.
Stanley Levine
Jul 12, 2015 Stanley Levine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan (March 19, 2010) expresses my feelings about this book better than I myself could, so I first send the reader curious about this book to her comments. -- And now in my own words: the thing I liked best about the book, more and more as I progressed in the book, was the beautiful style (which some comments indicate may have been mishandled in the English translation, but I have only read the original French - if you can, I would recommend reading it in French for Le Clezio's unique authorial ...more
Aug 02, 2009 Cheryl rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book; usually a book that is described "more like poetry than prose" does it for me. There might have been something that just did not cross over in translation; it was written in French and I think something was lost. The book did not read as if it was written by a Nobel Prize for Lit winner. Sometimes a chapter would switch from first person to third with no warning, and it was just plain strange. A few chapters were told from the perspective of secondary characters and a ...more
Roger Brunyate
May 03, 2016 Roger Brunyate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holocaust, history

May 1948. The State of Israel has just been proclaimed. Two columns of refugees pass one another on a mountain road outside Jerusalem. One is a group of European Jews, now in trucks, nearing the end of their journey to the Holy City. The other, on foot, is a long straggling line of displaced Palestinians starting their own journey to nowhere. Briefly, the columns halt. A seventeen-year-old girl climbs down from her truck and comes face to face with another girl her own age. Their eyes meet
Feb 23, 2016 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Que delícia foi ler esta obra! Pode parecer contraditório afirmar isto, porque muito pouco em Estrela errante nos coloca um sorriso na cara, nos faz pensar cor-de-rosa ou ser otimista, mas tudo isso torna-se supérfluo quando esbarramos com palavras, parágrafos, capítulos tão bem delineados, tão bem escritos. Vezes sem conta dei comigo com o olhar preso em determinada passagem, presa ao poder das palavras, como que perdida entre a beleza e o deleite dum amontoado de letras, que combinadas pela mã ...more
Oct 07, 2015 Ly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
If 'meandering plot' is death-in-the-water for a writer's pitch to an publisher, then Wandering Star should have been encased in concrete and thrown off the midnight pier by a raspy-voiced mafia boss (ie, me). I persevered through pages and pages about clouds and how hot the sun is because of the 'nobel prize' sticker on the front, and was ultimately rewarded by three-hundred pages of NOTHING. I've read Le Clezio's short stories (he made an existential crisis about a toothache into a goddamn AMA ...more
Mary Etta
Nov 24, 2008 Mary Etta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary Etta by: Le Clezio is the 2008 Nobel winner for literature.
Le Clezio is the 2008 Nobel laureate for literature. Wandering Star was his only title owned by Salt Lake County Library system--therefore, my only choice. They now have Onitsha on order which is set in Africa. More later, back to the book.

I don't remember when I have read a book that I readily agreed with every endorsement on the book's back cover. When time finally allowed to read it regularly, I too, was anxious to get back to it each day. Reflecting on the story as it came to a close, yes, i
Stephen Durrant
Dec 15, 2008 Stephen Durrant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J.M.G. Le Clezio just won this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. Francoise, my hyper-literate French wife, has never ranked him among modern France's greatest writers, but others would disagree. The announcement of his award made less of a splash in France this year than I would have expected, perhaps some indication of his ambivalent reception in his native country. This was only my second Le Clezio book, the other read in French (L'Africain). I am not sure "Wandering Star" is a great novel, b ...more
Dec 13, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really touching novel that tells the parallel tales of Esther, a Jew who escapes Nice and Livorno to find refuge in the newly declared homeland of Jerusalem in 1947-48, and Nejma, a Palestinian girl whom she meets for an instance yet whose existence haunts her. Mostly this is Esther's tale. Her father is a resistance fighter in Nice who does not return one day. She and her mother Elizabeth join a group of Jewish refugees fleeing the Germans and the Italians at the end of WW2. After a harrowing ...more
Nov 02, 2013 Anabela_costa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Estrela Errante encontra-se num dos 10 melhores livros que já li. Narra duas histórias distintas que têm vários pontos em comum. Por um lado encontramos Esther, uma judia que foge da terra em que vive, uma vez que esta será ocupada por alemães, percorrendo vários locais na tentativa de encontrar paz e levar uma vida melhor, que pensa ser possível em Israel. Nessa viagem encontra muitos desafios e problemas que contribuem para mudar a sua personalidade e transformar o seu interior. Defronta-se co ...more
Bernardo Hourmat
Nov 22, 2011 Bernardo Hourmat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read a Portuguese translation of the French original. Considering the length of time it took me to finish, I have to admit the book often feels a bit long-winded and disconnected. However, good things come to those who wait or, in this case, pick up the book after a few months' worth of not really remembering one was reading it at all.
The story of a Jewish girl and her mother being persecuted and forced to leave Italy in the last throes of WW2 sets the tone for what quickly turns into a quest to
George Deoso
I wanted so much to like this book. Who wouldn't? Nobel Prize-winning author, cute cover art, and my copy even smells so nice I would've worn it as a perfume. Plus, it's about war, and my favorite book's about war (Louis de Bernieres' Captain Corelli's Mandolin). I found myself asking before beginning the book: What could go wrong?

Here's where it went wrong:

1.) the two stories, Nejma's and Esther, are told unevenly. Personally, I think the book would survive without Nejma's part.

2.) language. or
James F
Feb 04, 2015 James F rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[Warning: spoilers]

With this book, I can almost begin to understand the Nobel Prize. It's a very powerful novel. The book deals with two of the great crimes of the 1940's, the Holocaust and the Nakba. The story begins with a young Jewish girl named Helene/Esther who is living in southern France during the Vichy period. The town is occupied by the Italians, but when Italy surrenders they are replaced by Germans and she flees with her mother to Italy. Eventually, they make their way to Palestine.
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Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, better known as J.M.G. Le Clézio (born 13 April 1940) is a Franco-Mauritian novelist. The author of over forty works, he was awarded the 1963 Prix Renaudot for his novel Le Procès-Verbal (The Interrogation) and the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature.
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