Brown Scarf Blues by Mois Benarroch
Reeling from the deaths of two loved ones, an Israeli writer travels to Spain–his ancestors’ homeland–for a conference of Sephardic Jews. In Seville, he finds a scarf that comforts him for thirteen days. Then, just as suddenly, it vanishes in Madrid. For the writer, the scarf becomes a symbol of loss: of goodbyes to things and people. He says farewell to the dead, and to all the people he never became and never will be. But just as he is letting go of his dreams, he meets a group of Spanish Jews who were lost in the Amazon for 150 years, whom he once wrote about in a novel. Did he merely make them up? Can imagination shape reality? Narrated through many voices and viewpoints, Brown Scarf Blues is a novella that spans countries–Morocco, Brazil, the United States, and Israel–and languages–Hebrew, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and especially Haketia: the Moroccan Judeo-Spanish speech that hangs on like a living-dead remnant of a vanished culture… the words and expressions left behind by a lost world.
Year first published: 2021