Beaufort by Ron Leshem
Translated from Hebrew by Evan Fallenberg
Published by Chatto and Windus/Vintage, March 2009
Beaufort is a stunning account of survival in occupied Lebanon. Written from the perspective of Liraz, a young officer in the IDF, it tells of the last days of the Israeli occupation of the Beaufort castle, of the anger and terror of the soldiers stationed there, and of the futility of the conflict. A compelling portrayal of the war that continues to rage in the Middle East, Beaufort also presents a harrowing, and personal account of the everyday lives of those men and women caught at the front line. It is a unique story, and an original voice from one of the world’s most troubled regions.
Beaufort, a remote and beautiful fort in southern Lebanon dating back to the Crusades, has been an outpost of the Israeli Defence Force for nearly twenty years. Now, for the teenage soldiers stationed there, it has become a world of its own. Subject to constant, terrifying attack, the fort has become an enclave in the heart of enemy territory, where its boy soldiers, unable to retaliate, isolated and afraid – create a state with its own rules and its own unique, outrageous, brutal language. Beaufort is a revolutionary and potent story of thirteen young men forced together to endure the last winter of Israeli occupation, missing family, home and their purpose in a war that has been forced upon them.
Ron Leshem, born in 1976, is a native of Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv. His novel Beaufort won the Sapir Prize – Israel’s top literary award – for 2006, as well as the Yitzhak Sadeh Prize for military literature. In 2002 he became deputy editor of Maariv newspaper and in 2006 joined the Channel Two television station as deputy director in charge of programming and special projects. Beaufort is his first novel.
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