The One Facing Us: Ronit Matalon’s family album

Ronit Matalon’s first novel to be translated into English is organized around 17 snapshots from an imaginary photo album. This kaleidoscopic family mosaic chronicles the disintegration of an Egyptian-Jewish clan after WWII, when its members are dispersed from Cairo to Israel, New York, and Cameroon. Host Marcela Sulak reads from the following passage:

“Photograph: Left to right: Grandpapa Jacquo and Uncle Sicourelle, Cairo Train Station, 1946. That’s Grandpapa Jacquo, to the left of the uncle: Tall, slightly stooped, smirking like the best man at a wedding.”

Ronit Matalon was born in Ganei Tikva, Israel, the daughter of Egyptian-Jewish immigrants. She covered Gaza and the West Bank for Haaretz newspaper between 1987 and 1993. She lives in Tel Aviv and teaches literature at the University of Haifa. She has published 8 novels in Hebrew, two of which are translated into English.

The One Facing Us: A Novel by Ronit Matalon. Translated by Marsha Weinstein. Metropolitan Books, 1998

Further reading:
Bliss by Ronit Matalon, Translated by Jessica Cohen, Metropolitan Books, 2013.

Tiki Dayan – Tachanat Rakevet
Ihsan Al Munzer – The Joy Of Lina (Farha)

Producer: Laragh Widdess
Technical producer: Alex Benish

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