I’m proud to announce the release of this exceptional book from AIA Publishing, the first of an excellent line up we have for you this year. Wall of Tears by David Kerr is one of those books you really ought not miss, especially if you want to delve into the issues facing Israel and Palestine.
Tahlia Newland: Managing Editor, AIA Publishing.
Abdiel and Maya, both Polish Jews, survive the horrors of the Holocaust and, in 1948, settle into kibbutz life in the emerging State of Israel. Their lives become intertwined with a Palestinian Arab family, bringing both happiness and heartbreak as religions and cultures clash and forbidden passions rage.
At the Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Abdiel sheds a single silent tear created by his dark past. His son, Uri, upset by his papa’s pain, questions his distress, only to be met with silence. As the years pass, Abdiel’s inability to speak of his torment has a profound impact on his family. Uri embarks on a medical career and an impossible love, while his brother takes the path of a soldier.
Set in the tumultuous history of Israel/Palestine, this multi-generational novel takes the reader to the heart of the complexity and intensity of this ancient conflict.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
‘Wall of Tears is an extraordinary book. Author David Kerr has successfully straddled that most bitter of divides, the Israel-Palestine imbroglio, to create a novel of both warmth and wisdom. Told through the eyes of Uri, the son of a Holocaust survivor, Wall of Tears explores the creation of modern Israel at a human level, through the experiences of a Jewish family and their Arab neighbours. There is conflict, love, betrayal, loss and a shattering conclusion—essential elements of a compelling read. And through it all there is a sense that the author has a deep understanding of and respect for the history and complex issues that continue to rob Israelis and Palestinians of peaceful co-existence.’ Nick Hartgerink – writer, former editor of Illawarra Mercury and media consultant
‘In Wall of Tears, David Kerr compellingly achieves the delicate task of revealing the heart and humanity of both Israelis and Palestinians through the fictional narratives of endearing, unforgettable characters from both groups. He further interweaves a thoroughly researched historical backdrop into this page turner to give a higher perspective of a system plagued by horrific collective trauma and the inevitable aftermath that continues to overwhelm both sides. David Kerr’s compassionate humanizing of his characters, gives a model of higher understanding and hope as viable building blocks of deeply needed peace.’ Cyntha Gonzalez – counselor, international speaker and seminar leader, writer.
‘This novelised account of the Arab/Israeli conflict that followed the creation of Israel after the Holocaust is one of the best I’ve read. Even-handed in its telling of a desperate situation, it is full of human stories, both joyful and tragic. It is gripping, shocking and heartbreaking, yet at the same time full of love. Though hard-hitting, this is a very readable story, and it is a clear and affecting account of a complex situation. The experiences of all sides are shown with humanity and compassion. Highly recommended.’ Barbara Scott Emmett – author of Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion.
‘Wall of Tears has many levels—political, historical, interpersonal, social, national, religious and driven by the author’s style. The Jewish/Muslim animosity is graphically and emotionally portrayed. A well-researched novel—a seminal book.’ Dr Rob McMurdo
‘Many books and novels have been written on the Palestinian-Israeli situation. Most of them focus on the mega picture of “Palestinians” and “Israelis” and few go to the depth of understanding the deep personal aspects that influence the collective. In his novel, Wall of Tears, David Kerr, takes us to the core, to the point of pain and trauma, that in it and through it, a healed and true understanding of peace can be envisioned.’ Sami Awad –founder, Holy Land Trust, Bethlehem, West Bank
‘As an avid reader of novels and non-fiction about Israel and Palestine, I always look for evidence of the author’s demonstrated ability to research intellectually, experientially and to combine that with thorough human investigation, which makes the story plausible and informative. In Kerr’s extraordinary tale about ordinary every day Jews and Palestinians, in a kibbutz in Galilee or in Jerusalem, I have found a saga that stretches from 1948 through the political turmoil to contemporary times. The writer demonstrates a profound ability to empathise with both Jews who live with the trauma of the Holocaust and traumatised Palestinians who have been dispossessed and incrementally robbed of their property and homes in the formation and continuance of the State of Israel. While retaining a deep respect for both Jews and Palestinians, he has befriended and interviewed in his research periods in Israel, he captures the subtle twists and turns in individual family fortunes that are part of the grass roots of ‘the dynamics of the situation’. Kerr creatively seeks to highlight human interactions between the main fictional characters of both cultures where agonising and ordinary transformations occur as his flawed and remarkable characters, come to workable places of acceptance and reconciliation. It leaves this reader to at least a modicum of hope for the future, which will inevitably unfold over time. The book ought to be widely read by all who enjoy reading about friendships, cross cultural or monocultural, and characters of integrity, whether they are Jewish secularists, or genuinely religious people, or Holocaust survivors. Or about Palestinians, Moslems or Christians, or people just wanting to survive with dignity in the midst of the world of relationships, conflicts and romance.’ Rv. John Reid – theologian
‘In Wall of Tears, David Kerr compellingly achieves the delicate task of revealing the heart and humanity of both Israelis and Palestinians through the fictional narratives of endearing, unforgettable characters from both groups. He further interweaves a thoroughly researched historical backdrop into this page turner to give a higher perspective of a system plagued by horrific collective trauma and the inevitable aftermath that continues to overwhelm both sides. David Kerr’s compassionate humanizing of his characters, gives a model of higher understanding and hope as viable building blocks of deeply needed peace.’ Cyntha Gonzalez, Counselor, Seminar Leader, Writer.
‘Based on the Arab/Israeli conflict that has existed since biblical times, Wall of Tears is a truly amazing book. With great emotional sensitivity, it covers the period from when post-World War II actions set up a state for the Jewish population which had suffered under the horrifying Holocaust years, to the early years of the New Millennium.
Readers will recall the conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians that have long festered around a host of issues, such as border definition and outright war involving state-of-the-art weaponry, since 1948. Treading a dangerous path few authors would be game to traverse, Kerr has created an enthralling saga of the rocky road travelled by the young Arab and Jewish characters who, despite trekking through a tangled cultural jungle, fall in love. He explores the web of conflicts in a loving, even-handed way that thoroughly immerses the reader in the pain which has infiltrated the lives of both cultures throughout its long history. Readers may dare to hope that resolution of this ancient conflict might one day happen through the love between individuals who, abandoning millennia of tradition, nurture the
courage to fight it.’ Peter McAra, author.
About the Author
David Kerr is a relationship therapist, educator, radio broadcaster, pastor, traveller and artist. He has an M.A. (Theol.) Sydney College of Divinity, majoring in Counselling and Christian Education, and other tertiary qualifications in Counselling, Religious Education, Divinity and Therapy.
David’s journey has been shaped by issues of social justice, the impact of clients’ experiences and the stories of fellow travellers, which feed his passion for writing. He is ready to leave this planet when he believes he can no longer make a difference.
David’s first book was Out of Latvia: The Son of a Latvian Immigrant Searches For His Roots.
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