The Israeli Institute for
Hebrew Literature

PUBLISHED IN 82 LANGUAGES

Dear Friends,
The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature has undergone a year full of changes and
transformation, and received its new name today: “The Israeli Institute For Hebrew Literature.”
With an exciting and ambitious vision and strong backing from the Ministries of Culture and
Foreign Affairs, we are entering a new year, full of novel initiatives and horizons. We plan a wealth
of collaborations and new projects that will celebrate Israeli authors worldwide and introduce their
voices to a new and wider readership.
We wish to thank the Israeli Ministry of Culture for their significant ongoing support and the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the trust and support in promoting the distribution of Israeli literature
worldwide.
We are proud of the books that are presented in this catalogue. Each entry was selected from a
large number of candidates following careful examination by our lectors and literary committee,
headed by Editor-in-Chief Hanan Elstein.
I wish you all a year full of creative prosperity, health
and peace.
Sigalit Gelfand, CEO

Current Reads

Professor Schiff’s Guilt - Agur Schiff's

“Yes, it’s true. My great-great grandfather’s grandfather was a slave trader.”

Professor Schiff, the eponymous hero of the novel, makes this confession at the start of his trial
before a special tribunal set up to apply “the law
for the prosecution of slave traders, their abettors, their heirs and those who enjoy their profits.” This world-precedent setting legislation was enacted
in an unnamed African republic shortly before the professor’s arrival from Israel, and he is the first and only prisoner to be prosecuted under the new law.

Donkey - Sami Berdugo

“Life doesn’t keep its promises. Because of this, a donkey.”

Ruslan Isakov, an immigrant from Azerbaijan aged around 50, is hiding a donkey in his ramshackle backyard. Five months ago, while ambling idly around the village where he lives, he ran into some police officers who asked him to hold on to the donkey for a few minutes, until someone came to pick it up. But no-one came, so since then the donkey has lived with him.

The donkey keeps Ruslan company for eight days in the month of June, 2018. The account of the care he takes of it becomes an enthralling story of heart-melting beauty. In parallel, Berdugo describes, with a daring rare in Hebrew

Oxygen - Amir Ziv

A teenage boy and girl shut themselves into a parked ambulance. No-one knows they are there, and what happens between them before their shift as first responder assistants will determine the fate of their families. An hour before, the boy’s grandfather, an extremely wealthy and power-hungry industrialist, celebrated his 70th birthday with an extravagant party. But then everything went wrong, oddly because of his long-time partner.

By means of an unusual plot structure, which tells the tale from the end to the beginning, Oxygen describes 72 dramatic hours in the life of an influential family, culminating in a crash that no one has anticipated.

Plastered Walls - Esty G. Hayim

“Sixty-nine. A few years ago, people started to get up for me on the bus from time to time. I used to respond defiantly, ‘Do I really look so old to you?’ Recently, what had been an occasional offer of a seat has become a routine matter. I just have to poke my head in at the door, and a polite young man or woman leaps up, as if I’m an emergency case. I usually refuse the offer with cold, ungrateful courtesy.”

The characters in all three stories of Plastered Walls struggle to live the lives they deserve, in the face of an arbitrary fate and a world without compassion.

In Hidden Memory a young woman is trying to free herself of the devastating aftereffects of trauma

The Guests - Ofir Touché Gafla

It happened five years ago.

All over the world people woke up in the morning and found a box of shoes on their doorstep – a different pair of shoes for every human being. No one could resist the temptation to try them on

for they were exactly what each one desired. And then it began.
The metamorphosis. Like no other.

It was the most catastrophic week in the history of humanity. People gradually became their personal objects of hate. Millions lost their minds or committed suicide. Others resorted to violence. Hate could no longer be concealed—it showed on people’s faces.

Donia - Odeh Bisharat

In a small Arab town in northern Israel, a dreamy young woman disappears one day. Her name is Donia, Arabic for “world.” The disappearance shocks the locals and they mobilize to search for her. But other than the discovery of a new civil volunteering spirit, their effort is fruitless. The lost Donia represents the way that Israeli Arabs see the loss of their world after the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.

The story unfolds into an account of what happens to some of the townsfolk after the 1948-49 War of Independence, when they were driven out of their homes and not allowed to return. A mosaic of the lives of three generations of Arabs in the state of Israelis is gradually revealed to the reader

Diana and David - Shira Carmi

Diana is a 43-year-old real estate agent from upscale North Tel Aviv, living a bourgeois life with David, her psychologist husband, who is a lot older than she
is, and their teenaged son. One evening, David’s cell phone rings as they are eating dinner. He quickly gets up and answers the phone out of Diana’s earshot. She begins to suspect that David, although he is a good and considerate husband, is having an affair with another woman.

Under a compulsion to find out if her suspicion is unfounded paranoia or valid, Diana launches into
a reckless search for the truth. She finds herself indulging in a voyeurism that produces unexpected temptations and arouses suppressed urges, with chance playing a key role. Within the maelstrom of obsession that she is caught up in, eroticism steadily wells up.

The Crown Not Heavy - Alice Bialsky

Alyssa, an 18-year-old Jewish Muscovite from a good home wants two things more than anything else: to be a music journalist and to once and for all lose her virginity and become a woman. She drops out of university to her parents’ chagrin, acquires an extravagant wardrobe and a wild hairstyle, harbors great aspirations and displays a captivating innocence.

In the penumbra of the looming break-up of
the Soviet Union, Alyssa gets involved with the Moscow’s fringe art and punk scene, rubbing shoulders with the members of anarchist and other anti-establishment circles. Her guide and mentor is the macho Gromov, 30-year-old editor
of an underground rock magazine, artist, poet and musician who lives with his father. Gromov cultivates his mane of straw-blond hair, his avant- garde fervor and his male chauvinism.

Lior Rubin - Eran Horowitz

Lior Rubin is a coming-of-age story that describes, in an ingenious narrative structure, three stages in the life of
a millennial Israeli. In the first novella, which has the same title as the book, Lior Rubin has been inducted into the military, but is in a program in which he is allowed to complete university studies before active service. He leaves his parents’ home in Tel Aviv and rents a seedy apartment in Haifa, where he is studying. The first- person account of his relations with his mother, father and grandfather paints a complete family portrait, as well as the predictable course of his life, and the zeitgeist that dictates that he must fail. The second novella, Exit is narrated in the third person in an ironic and distant voice. It tells of Lior Rubin’s military service and his discharge for mental health reasons, something that he has planned and that is something of a protest.

Lazaretto - Shay K. Azulay

“Citizens of Tel Aviv, there is no cause for alarm, we are aware of the situation and making the utmost effort to resolve it as quickly as possible. Soldiers have been positioned around the city for your protection. Do not attempt to leave the city.”

It is a stormy winter in Tel Aviv, the highway is flooded, and one night all of the bridges leading into the city collapse. Within 24 hours, a barrier wall is erected along Tel Aviv’s southern border and the heart of the city is cut off from the rest of Israel.
The TV and radio are restrained by a gag order; telephone and internet services are cut off; food and essentials are running out, and the government’s only announcements are vague messages to stay indoors and remain calm.

I Was There - Yehonatan Herbelin

The trauma of war in Gaza, a drug-satiated cycling trip in South America, and a fateful journey on a therapist’s couch are woven together in an intimate debut novel that delicately and compassionately sketches the story of a generation of young Israelis.

A traumatized, recently discharged Israeli soldier, Ya’ar, is undergoing psychiatric treatment, mandated by the military. He recalls the horror of a battle in Gaza, when his best friend was killed by a missile in front of his eyes. In an almost naïve manner, he strips bare the onset of trauma and the damage it causes to the soul, but he also discovers that confronting trauma can have a surprisingly beneficial, regenerative effect. He unravels the complexities

of his reality, overshadowed as it is by moral ambiguities. He probes his personal entanglement in a conflict that began many years before he was born.

Back from the Moon - Ze’ev Raz

Childhood in the Valley of Jezreel, in a kibbutz the way the kibbutz used to be; memories of a founding family with Zionism etched into their souls; pictures from the homes of grandparents and parents, homes where a terrible sense of the loss of dead relatives and friends was always present just beneath the surface; a duel way of life—the military and the civilian, as a combat pilot in an air force squadron; memories of historic events, like the day Neil Armstrong returned from the moon, or the bombing raid that destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor, and much, much more.

In his first book, Ze’ev Raz weaves the plots of his narratives around the thin boundary that separates reality from imagination. He does so with the skill and maturity of a seasoned writer, using surprising transitions between time and place.

Blue Marks - Emilie Moatti

A young woman travels to Paris to escape her life
on the margins of Israeli society. All Iris desires is
to start her life anew, in a new language, in a place where no one knows her. With a good job and a rented apartment, her dream seems to have a chance of coming true. But just as she begins to believe she has achieved her goal, it transpires that fate has a different plan in store for her. A divinely handsome man appears before her. He doesn’t take his eyes off her for a moment. He is the man who has only a first name; the man who rapes her; the man she murders.

Behind prison walls, the abyss Iris inhabits is exposed. Via vivid, powerful memories she meanders a tortuous path between pain

Set Theory - Carmit Sahar

In this book, written over more than a decade, teenage Alex is growing up, but rather slowly. The second child of the Hoffman family in London, he is a constant source of disappointment to his parents. His brother Mark is

a brilliant mathematician; his older sister and younger brother are gifted pianists who travel the world to perform. Alex, however, mainly gets into trouble. To his parents’ relief, each summer Alex and Mark are sent

to Israel for a long vacation with their aunt. While in Israel, Alex meets Arkady, and they become soulmates— soulmates who fight each other with a desperate violence that continues throughout their adolescence.

Victorious - Yishai Sarid

Abigail, a psychologist who has served in the military for many years and who developed an expertise in the workings of the minds of soldiers in combat, has always seen herself as part of the fighting forces. She has never hesitated to join the troops, including during actual operations.

At a decisive moment she is summoned to advise the Chief of the General Staff, an impressive man she met many years ago as a young battalion commander and with whom she has a close relationship, on how to achieve a crushing victory in an upcoming campaign.

Among her duties, Abigail provides therapy for soldiers suffering from the trauma of warfare and, contrary to the accepted rules, she forms close personal ties with her patients.

What Was Lost to Time - Nurith Gertz

The conversation between the two carries

on for decades: through times of war and of peace; at family gatherings at Kibbutz Hulda; at working meetings; in letters that cross oceans; and in the many phone conversations that were held when Oz was on his deathbed.

With the output of these discussions, Oz left an intriguing literary legacy in Nurith Gertz’s hands. This book is the execution of that legacy. It is written in the traditional biographical-documentary style, for which Gertz created a personal and original formula in her books Not From Here (1997); Unrepentant (2008), and An Ocean Between Us (2015), books that earned critical acclaim from reviewers, as well
as from tens of thousands of devoted readers.

Souls - Roy Chen

Grisha is a 40-year-old chain-smoker who lives with his mother in Israel. He doesn’t look too good and neither does he smell great. That’s the way it is today, but in days gone by he has been a loveable little Polish boy, an impressive Venetian teenager, a gorgeous Moroccan woman. Grisha’s delicate soul has been transmigrating for four centuries from one body to another searching for the one other soul that will understand him. Marina, Grisha’s mother, is an immigrant from post-Soviet Moscow. A realist, she does not believe in the migration of souls and she tries to persuade Grisha, and us the readers, to stop daydreaming and not to waste the one and only life that we have.

Two souls, two versions of the same events. What to believe? Grisha’s mystical carnival, or his mother’s down-to-earth, common-sense account of life?
Is what we have here a historical novel based on reincarnation, or an immigration story about a mother and her son who is trying to escape reality

Wake Up, Mom - Eldad Cohen

Yuda, a 12-year-old boy, lives with his mother in a small apartment overlooking the Machaneh

Yehuda market in Jerusalem. He has always thought that his father was dead. “So now think that he is alive, and you have half an hour to think that,” his mother tells him one morning. At once, Yuda sets out on an absurd journey, full

of trials and tribulations, to find his father. A succession of unlikely characters appear, among them: Yuda’s good friend Captain Avot, who suffers from PTSD; another friend, Ronit, who has to eat before she can get ideas; his mother, both the prettiest woman in the market and a math teacher who worships Julio Iglesias; and even Yuda himself, curious and naïve, funny and touching. This is an enchanting tale about the inner world of a boy, set in Jerusalem and Israel of the early 1980s. Through poetic, distinctive language, Yuda opens up his heart to us to reveal a sensitive

and humorous view of the world he lives in.

Professor Schiff’s Guilt - Agur Schiff's

“Yes, it’s true. My great-great grandfather’s grandfather was a slave trader.”

Professor Schiff, the eponymous hero of the novel, makes this confession at the start of his trial
before a special tribunal set up to apply “the law for the prosecution of slave traders, their abettors, their heirs and those who enjoy their profits.” This world-precedent setting legislation was enacted in an unnamed African republic shortly before the professor’s arrival from Israel, and he is the first and only prisoner to be prosecuted under the new law.

Donkey - Sami Berdugo

“Life doesn’t keep its promises. Because of this, a donkey.”

Ruslan Isakov, an immigrant from Azerbaijan aged around 50, is hiding a donkey in his ramshackle backyard. Five months ago, while ambling idly around the village where he lives, he ran into some police officers who asked him to hold on to the donkey for a few minutes, until someone came to pick it up. But no-one came, so since then the donkey has lived with him.

The donkey keeps Ruslan company for eight days in the month of June, 2018. The account of the care he takes of it becomes an enthralling story of heart-melting beauty. In parallel, Berdugo describes, with a daring rare in Hebrew

Oxygen - Amir Ziv

A teenage boy and girl shut themselves into a parked ambulance. No-one knows they are there, and what happens between them before their shift as first responder assistants will determine the fate of their families. An hour before, the boy’s grandfather, an extremely wealthy and power-hungry industrialist, celebrated his 70th birthday with an extravagant party. But then everything went wrong, oddly because of his long-time partner.

By means of an unusual plot structure, which tells the tale from the end to the beginning, Oxygen describes 72 dramatic hours in the life of an influential family, culminating in a crash that no one has anticipated.

Plastered Walls - Esty G. Hayim

“Sixty-nine. A few years ago, people started to get up for me on the bus from time to time. I used to respond defiantly, ‘Do I really look so old to you?’ Recently, what had been an occasional offer of a seat has become a routine matter. I just have to poke my head in at the door, and a polite young man or woman leaps up, as if I’m an emergency case. I usually refuse the offer with cold, ungrateful courtesy.”ה The characters in all three stories of Plastered Walls struggle to live the lives they deserve, in the face of an arbitrary fate and a world without compassion.

In Hidden Memory a young woman is trying to free herself of the devastating aftereffects of trauma

The Guests - Ofir Touché Gafla

It happened five years ago.

All over the world people woke up in the morning and found a box of shoes on their doorstep – a different pair of shoes for every human being. No one could resist the temptation to try them on

for they were exactly what each one desired. And then it began.
The metamorphosis. Like no other.

It was the most catastrophic week in the history of humanity. People gradually became their personal objects of hate. Millions lost their minds or committed suicide. Others resorted to violence. Hate could no longer be concealed—it showed on people’s faces.

Donia - Odeh Bisharat

In a small Arab town in northern Israel, a dreamy young woman disappears one day. Her name is Donia, Arabic for “world.” The disappearance shocks the locals and they mobilize to search for her. But other than the discovery of a new civil volunteering spirit, their effort is fruitless. The lost Donia represents the way that Israeli Arabs see the loss of their world after the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. The story unfolds into an account of what happens to some of the townsfolk after the 1948-49 War of Independence, when they were driven out of their homes and not allowed to return. A mosaic of the lives of three generations of Arabs in the state of Israelis is gradually revealed to the reader

Diana and David - Shira Carmi

Diana is a 43-year-old real estate agent from upscale North Tel Aviv, living a bourgeois life with David, her psychologist husband, who is a lot older than she
is, and their teenaged son. One evening, David’s cell phone rings as they are eating dinner. He quickly gets up and answers the phone out of Diana’s earshot. She begins to suspect that David, although he is a good and considerate husband, is having an affair with another woman. Under a compulsion to find out if her suspicion is unfounded paranoia or valid, Diana launches into a reckless search for the truth. She finds herself indulging in a voyeurism that produces unexpected temptations and arouses suppressed urges, with chance playing a key role. Within the maelstrom of obsession that she is caught up in, eroticism steadily wells up.

The Crown Not Heavy - Alice Bialsky

Alyssa, an 18-year-old Jewish Muscovite from a good home wants two things more than anything else: to be a music journalist and to once and for all lose her virginity and become a woman. She drops out of university to her parents’ chagrin, acquires an extravagant wardrobe and a wild hairstyle, harbors great aspirations and displays a captivating innocence. In the penumbra of the looming break-up of the Soviet Union, Alyssa gets involved with the Moscow’s fringe art and punk scene, rubbing shoulders with the members of anarchist and other anti-establishment circles. Her guide and mentor is the macho Gromov, 30-year-old editor of an underground rock magazine, artist, poet and musician who lives with his father. Gromov cultivates his mane of straw-blond hair, his avant- garde fervor and his male chauvinism.

Lior Rubin - Eran Horowitz

Lior Rubin is a coming-of-age story that describes, in an ingenious narrative structure, three stages in the life of
a millennial Israeli. In the first novella, which has the same title as the book, Lior Rubin has been inducted into the military, but is in a program in which he is allowed to complete university studies before active service. He leaves his parents’ home in Tel Aviv and rents a seedy apartment in Haifa, where he is studying. The first- person account of his relations with his mother, father and grandfather paints a complete family portrait, as well as the predictable course of his life, and the zeitgeist that dictates that he must fail. The second novella, Exit is narrated in the third person in an ironic and distant voice. It tells of Lior Rubin’s military service and his discharge for mental health reasons, something that he has planned and that is something of a protest.

Lazaretto - Shay K. Azulay

“Citizens of Tel Aviv, there is no cause for alarm, we are aware of the situation and making the utmost effort to resolve it as quickly as possible. Soldiers have been positioned around the city for your protection. Do not attempt to leave the city.” It is a stormy winter in Tel Aviv, the highway is flooded, and one night all of the bridges leading into the city collapse. Within 24 hours, a barrier wall is erected along Tel Aviv’s southern border and the heart of the city is cut off from the rest of Israel. The TV and radio are restrained by a gag order; telephone and internet services are cut off; food and essentials are running out, and the government’s only announcements are vague messages to stay indoors and remain calm.

I Was There - Yehonatan Herbelin

The trauma of war in Gaza, a drug-satiated cycling trip in South America, and a fateful journey on a therapist’s couch are woven together in an intimate debut novel that delicately and compassionately sketches the story of a generation of young Israelis. A traumatized, recently discharged Israeli soldier, Ya’ar, is undergoing psychiatric treatment, mandated by the military. He recalls the horror of a battle in Gaza, when his best friend was killed by a missile in front of his eyes. In an almost naïve manner, he strips bare the onset of trauma and the damage it causes to the soul, but he also discovers that confronting trauma can have a surprisingly beneficial, regenerative effect. He unravels the complexities

Back from the Moon - Ze’ev Raz

Childhood in the Valley of Jezreel, in a kibbutz the way the kibbutz used to be; memories of a founding family with Zionism etched into their souls; pictures from the homes of grandparents and parents, homes where a terrible sense of the loss of dead relatives and friends was always present just beneath the surface; a duel way of life—the military and the civilian, as a combat pilot in an air force squadron; memories of historic events, like the day Neil Armstrong returned from the moon, or the bombing raid that destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor, and much, much more.

Blue Marks - Emilie Moatti

A young woman travels to Paris to escape her life
on the margins of Israeli society. All Iris desires is
to start her life anew, in a new language, in a place where no one knows her. With a good job and a rented apartment, her dream seems to have a chance of coming true. But just as she begins to believe she has achieved her goal, it transpires that fate has a different plan in store for her. A divinely handsome man appears before her. He doesn’t take his eyes off her for a moment. He is the man who has only a first name; the man who rapes her; the man she murders. Behind prison walls, the abyss Iris inhabits is exposed. Via vivid, powerful memories she meanders a tortuous path between pain

Set Theory - Carmit Sahar

In this book, written over more than a decade, teenage Alex is growing up, but rather slowly. The second child of the Hoffman family in London, he is a constant source of disappointment to his parents. His brother Mark is

a brilliant mathematician; his older sister and younger brother are gifted pianists who travel the world to perform. Alex, however, mainly gets into trouble. To his parents’ relief, each summer Alex and Mark are sent

to Israel for a long vacation with their aunt. While in Israel, Alex meets Arkady, and they become soulmates— soulmates who fight each other with a desperate violence that continues throughout their adolescence.

Victorious - Yishai Sarid

Abigail, a psychologist who has served in the military for many years and who developed an expertise in the workings of the minds of soldiers in combat, has always seen herself as part of the fighting forces. She has never hesitated to join the troops, including during actual operations. At a decisive moment she is summoned to advise the Chief of the General Staff, an impressive man she met many years ago as a young battalion commander and with whom she has a close relationship, on how to achieve a crushing victory in an upcoming campaign. Among her duties, Abigail provides therapy for soldiers suffering from the trauma of warfare and, contrary to the accepted rules, she forms close personal ties with her patients.

What Was Lost to Time - Nurith Gertz

 

The conversation between the two carries
on for decades: through times of war and of peace; at family gatherings at Kibbutz Hulda; at working meetings; in letters that cross oceans; and in the many phone conversations that were held when Oz was on his deathbed.

With the output of these discussions, Oz left an intriguing literary legacy in Nurith Gertz’s hands. This book is the execution of that legacy. It is written in the traditional biographical-documentary style, for which Gertz created a personal and original formula in her books Not From Here (1997); Unrepentant (2008), and An Ocean Between Us (2015), books that earned critical acclaim from reviewers, as well
as from tens of thousands of devoted readers.

Souls - Roy Chen

Grisha is a 40-year-old chain-smoker who lives with his mother in Israel. He doesn’t look too good and neither does he smell great. That’s the way it is today, but in days gone by he has been a loveable little Polish boy, an impressive Venetian teenager, a gorgeous Moroccan woman. Grisha’s delicate soul has been transmigrating for four centuries from one body to another searching for the one other soul that will understand him. Marina, Grisha’s mother, is an immigrant from post-Soviet Moscow. A realist, she does not believe in the migration of souls and she tries to persuade Grisha, and us the readers, to stop daydreaming and not to waste the one and only life that we have.

Two souls, two versions of the same events. What to believe? Grisha’s mystical carnival, or his mother’s down-to-earth, common-sense account of life?
Is what we have here a historical novel based on reincarnation, or an immigration story about a mother and her son who is trying to escape reality

Wake Up, Mom - Eldad Cohen

Yuda, a 12-year-old boy, lives with his mother in a small apartment overlooking the Machaneh

Yehuda market in Jerusalem. He has always thought that his father was dead. “So now think that he is alive, and you have half an hour to think that,” his mother tells him one morning. At once, Yuda sets out on an absurd journey, full

of trials and tribulations, to find his father. A succession of unlikely characters appear, among them: Yuda’s good friend Captain Avot, who suffers from PTSD; another friend, Ronit, who has to eat before she can get ideas; his mother, both the prettiest woman in the market and a math teacher who worships Julio Iglesias; and even Yuda himself, curious and naïve, funny and touching. This is an enchanting tale about the inner world of a boy, set in Jerusalem and Israel of the early 1980s. Through poetic, distinctive language, Yuda opens up his heart to us to reveal a sensitive and humorous view of the world he lives in.

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