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'The Truth And The Lie'

March 04, 1990

For the record, regarding Aram Saroyan's review of my novel "What Dinah Thought" (Book Review, Jan. 14):

Jamine Amouri, never raped, never attempted to rape Dina Z, just as the book asserts that the Biblical Shechem did not rape Dinah, Jacob's daughter.

To the contrary, in Amouri's presence, Dina Z. remembers another rape, a very different rapist. One with blue eyes, not the dark eyes of the Palestinian. To say he raped her seriously distorts the text.

Further, Amouri did not push Dina against barbed wire; the barbed wire was between them. The wire cuts into both the Jewish woman and the Palestinian man. The blood is on his shirt, not hers. The book never says that she is bleeding.

Unfortunately, the review exactly repeats the misunderstandings against which the novel protests. In the novel, it says, "Dinah wasn't raped, despite the testaments. Still, rape entered the story and, once admitted, could not be excised or denied, the truth and the lie cohabiting in a permanent marriage. Whatever became part of the story continued whether it was a true story or not."

It was my hope in writing these scenes and the rest of the book to help to heal some of the very same chronic injuries and injustices of our history.

DEENA METZGER, TOPANGA

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