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The Greatest Need: The Creative Life and Troubled Times of Lily Tobias

by Jasmine Donahaye - £10.99  Honno Ltd (Honno Voices) (2015)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781909983236 | ISBN 10: 1909983233

he first full biography of Lily Tobias (1887-1984) a Jewish writer from Wales: a courageous, idealistic woman who wrote compellingly about Jewish life and experience in the 20th century.
Daughter of Polish immigrant parents, Lily Tobias grew up in the Swansea valley. The family spoke Yiddish at home, English in class and Welsh in the playground, and Lily was always aware of her mixed identity. She was passionate about her rights as a woman in a time of suffrage, as a Jewish woman in a religion that kept men and women separate, as a socialist in a time of industrial change and as a pacifist in the face of the Great War. She worked as a journalist from the age of 14 and slowly began to gain a profile as a speaker on Zionism and as a novelist. She was adamant that a Jewish state was necessary, but also that it should and could only be won peacefully. Her ambition to help establish a homeland for the Jews was fulfilled when she and her businessman husband moved to Palestine in 1936. But the dream was demolished with Phillip Tobias' murder at the hands of a terrorist mob in 1938.
Lily Tobias wrote four novels, and a collection of short stories and the first dramatization for the stage of Daniel Deronda. Her fiction was always topical and drew on her own unique mix of cultures, focusing on her compassionate pacifism and desire for equity for all.

(Price & availability last checked: March 2015)

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In booklists: Women Writers and Women in Literature, Jewish Writers, Poets and Literature, Writers and Poet's Lives and Works, Socialist Biographies & Autobiographies, Welsh Biography and Autobiography,
In categories: History & Biography, Poetry & Writing,

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