- This morning they entered my room and half-smiling, informed me that I have been here for a year. Looking at them, not knowing what to say, I thought: “My God! What has happened to me? How has it come down to this? I am only twenty-four, and the woman I love has been killed, and I am not in control of myself and here they stand waiting for a reaction. Who is really mad?” -
Jonah Ben Zvi awakes to find himself abandoned in a mental institution, struggling with the memories of the brutal murder of his girlfriend Palestine and the cold intolerance of their respective peoples. Eventually, emerging once more into present reality, he comes to discover it just as unyielding and destructive as before.A contemporary twist on the classic tale of forbidden love, Canaan Barred is the story of one man’s desperate attempt to find meaning in a world where prejudice, bigotry, and hatred conspire to destroy his humanity. By way of Philip Hyams’ intensely personal and haunting images - visions both dark and futile, yet also poignantly hopeful - we are swept through the story of a great love, an emotional tempest complicated by the struggle for survival of two proud peoples. On a deeper, more symbolic level, Canaan Barred is a novel about escaping the bondage of historical and collective hate. It is a book about peace and individual freedom, an allegorical and profound love story. When considering the current situation in the Middle-East today, it could possibly be even a true tale. In an age when religious and political fundamentalism of all kinds is proliferating - Canaan Barred courageously argues for human dignity, love, tolerance, and the sanctity of Life.