The Sapir Prize — considered to be Israel’s equivalent of the Man Booker prize — has gone to Orly Castel Bloom. The Forward speaks to Castel-Bloom about the prestigious honor and her winning book “An Egyptian Novel.”
Orly Castel-Bloom’s novel is about an Israeli mother who undergoes cosmetic surgeries in order to avoid thinking about her soldier son. It’s satire but rests on profound realities.
When the English novelist Ian McEwan accepted the Jerusalem Prize in January, he did so despite strident demands from pro-Palestinian writers to reject the prize and boycott the Jerusalem Book Fair where it is awarded. But McEwan insisted on his right to engage in dialogue with all Israelis, and argued in the Guardian that literature, “with its impulse to enter other minds, can reach across political divides.”
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.