How novelist Ayla Adler found inspiration in the Negev – Journeys


When Ayla Adler, a teacher of writing at the University of Michigan, was 40 years old and mourning the death of her brother’s baby, she had a sudden, unexplained desire to visit Israel for her upcoming birthday.

With no intellectual or emotional connection to the Jewish state, she left her home in Ann Arbor and embarked on what she hoped would be a profound experience – and it was. Adler explains to host Rogel Alpher how her one-week trip to Israel slowly unfolded into a several-year journey.

In the summer of 2006, with the Second Lebanon War raging and no friends or family around her, Adler began spending time in the Negev, which she first encountered by complete chance. There, the ideas for the novel Measuring Rain began to flow.

After a brief return to the States, she decided to take a year off from teaching and come to live in the Negev. During this year, she met all the people who inspired the characters in her novel: A Bedouin woman, an Ethiopian Jew, and an Eritrean asylum seeker.

Now, seven years later, she is living in Mitzpe Ramon and working on the final revisions to her novel.

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Gad Tidhar – Moon
Tom Waits – Grapefruit Moon
REM – Love Is All Around (unplugged on MTV)
Faran Ensemble – Rain

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