The Schmooze

For Israeli Literature, Why Not Head to Illinois?

On Thursday Dalkey Archive, the university press of the University of Illinois, disembargoed their long-touted release about their contemporary Hebrew literature series. Having already announced this year the imminent or forthcoming publication of three notable Israeli books in English — including Eshkol Nevo’s “Homesickness” (see video below) — Dalkey confirms that this will be an ongoing series.

Generally the province of niche publishers like Toby Press, marquee names (David Grossman, Meir Shalev, Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua) or, seemingly random enthusiasms (Eli Amir’s patchy publication history for one) Israeli fiction, as with most foreign literatures, feels marginalized in English-speaking countries. Now, especially with Toby Press making cutbacks, the need for a consistent and committed publisher for contemporary Hebrew literature will be found in at least one small part of Illinois.

Although joining with some large Israeli institutions (the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and the Office of Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York as well as their own local Program in Jewish Culture and Society at the University of Illinois) their choices haven’t been conservative.

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For Israeli Literature, Why Not Head to Illinois?

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