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When I Lived in Modern Times – 2000 Winner

Linda Grant

It is April 1946. Evelyn Sert, twenty years old, a hairdresser from Soho, sails for Palestine, where Jewish refugees and idealists are gathering from across Europe to start a new life in a brand-new country.

In the glittering, cosmopolitan, Bauhaus city of Tel Aviv, anything seems possible – the new self, new Jew, new woman are all feasible. Evelyn, adept at disguises, reinvents herself as the bleached-blonde Priscilla Jones. Immersed in a world of passionate idealism, she finds love, and with Johnny, her lover, finds herself at the heart of a very dangerous game.

" I was standing on the deck dreaming; across the Mediterranean we sailed, from one end to the other, past Crete and Cyprus to where the East begins. Mare nostrum . Our sea."

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