Richard Adams’ Watership Down: to the untrained eye, a beautiful and sophisticated fable about rabbits.
Fiver, naturally, is Herzl. Sensing the oncoming destruction of the home warren (Europe), our feverish visionary leads a daring few in search of a new homeland. Rejecting the invitation to join a golden diaspora of a warren, a place which dangerously distorts true Rabbit Culture (a rather unflattering view of America?), our rabbits reach their scrubby Promised Land on the hilltop. Next: to populate the homeland. And off goes the burliest rabbit on a mission to rescue some does from the oppressive (Stalinist?) regime of Efrafa. (Bigwig? Also a Jew!) The homeland is achieved, all ends well.
If they weren’t available in the fiction I read, I invented ’em. Everywhere Jews! I only wished a bigger role had been given to the does.
Rachel Kadish, a writer living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was once a LILITH intern. Her first novel, From a Sealed Room, will be published by Putnam next year.