Israel in Translation

Ayala Ben Lulu’s “Mona Lisa”

This week Marcela returns to focus on up and coming Israeli writers who have rarely or never before been translated into English, by featuring Ayala Ben Lulu. “Mona Lisa” appears in the latest issue of The Ilanot Review, which was a collaboration with Granta Hebrew.

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Ronit Matalon’s “And the Bride Closed the Door”

This podcast is dedicated to marriage—all the engaged couples with cold feet, newly married couples, and long-married couples who survived the wedding day. Marcela reads from and discusses Ronit Matalon’s last book written before her death, which was awarded Israel’s prestigious Brenner Prize.

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Sara Aharoni’s “The First Mrs. Rothschild”

The novel, “The First Mrs. Rothschild,” by Sara Aharoni, tells the story of the wife of Meir Amschel Rothschild, the founder of the banking dynasty, and is written in the form of a personal journal.

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Grosman’s “The Shop on Main Street”

Today we read from the story “The Shop on Main Street,” written by Ladislav Grosman, a Slovak novelist and screenwriter. It is both comical and tragic, and it asks the question—are we not our brother’s keeper? Who is our brother, anyway?

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“The Book of Disappearances”

Set in contemporary Tel Aviv 48 hours after Israelis discover all their Palestinian neighbors have vanished, the novel unfolds through alternating narrators, Alaa, a young Palestinian man who converses with his dead grandmother in the journal he left behind when he disappeared, and his Jewish neighbor, Ariel, a journalist struggling to understand the traumatic event.

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Nora the Mind Reader

What if, when you were in Kindergarten, your mother had given you a magic wand that allowed you to read people’s minds? Well, that’s just what happens in Orit Gidali’s book, “Nora the Mind Reader,” which will bring to a close our month of illustrated children’s books written by Israeli poets and writers.

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Leah Goldberg’s “Room for Rent”

No Israeli childhood experience would be complete without Leah Goldberg. Her story “Room for Rent” was published in 1948 and is one of the most classic children’s books available in Hebrew.

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Shira Geffen’s “The Heart-Shaped Leaf”

This month we continue our spotlight on beautifully written and illustrated Israeli children’s books translated into English with “The Heart Shaped Leaf,” by Shira Geffen and illustrated by David Polonsky.

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“The Mermaid in the Bathtub”

Some of Marcela’s favorite children’s books have been written by well known poets and illustrated by some of Israel’s most talented artists. This episode features “The Mermaid in the Bathtub,” written by Nurit Zarchi and illustrated by Rutu Modan.

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Nano Shabtai’s “Corn”

For the next few weeks, we will feature new, up-and-coming writers whose work have recently been translated to English. Nano Shabtai is known in Hebrew arts and letters as a poet, dramatist and director.

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