Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \ 

Nava Semel

Nava Semel was born in Tel Aviv in 1954 and has an MA in art history. She has worked as a journalist, art critic, and TV, radio and recording producer. Semel has published novels, short stories, poetry, plays, children's books and a number of TV scripts. Many of her stories have been adapted for radio, film, TV and the stage in Israel, Europe and the USA. Her novel, And the Rat Laughed, has been made into an opera; it is also being made into a feature film, directed by David Fisher. Her children's book, The Girl in the Gong, was performed on stage as a very successful musical in a co-production between Beit Lessin Theater and the Holon Mediatheque in 2012. Semel is a member of the Massua Institute of Holocaust Studies and is on the board of governors of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.
Semel has received several literary prizes, including the American National Jewish Book Award for Children's Literature (1990), the Women Writers of the Mediterranean Award (1994), the Prime Minister's Prize (1996), the Austrian Best Radio Drama Award (1996), the Rosenblum Prize for Stage Arts (2005), and Tel Aviv's Literary Woman of the Year (2007). Most recently, her y/a book, Love for Beginners, received the One of the Best Seven Prize awarded by Radio Germany (2010) as well as the Educators and Scientists Association Award (Germany, 2010).

See also Nava Semel's website:


Nava Semel

Books Published in Hebrew

Poems of Pregnancy and Birth, Sifriat Poalim, 1982 [Shirei Herayon Ve-Leida]
Hat of Glass (stories) , Sifriat Poalim, 1985; new ed. 1998 [Kova Zchuchit: Kovetz Sipurim Shel Ha-Dor Ha-Sheni]
The Child Behind the Eyes; An Old Woman (plays), Adam, 1988 [Ha-Yeled Me-Achorei Ha-Einayim; Achat Zkena]
Night Games (novel) , Am Oved, 1994 [Rally Masa Matara]
Bride on Paper (novel) , Am Oved, 1996 [Isha Al Ha-Neyar]
Zionist to the End [by Yitzhak Artzi with Nava Semel] (autobiography), Yedioth Ahronoth, 1999 [Davka Zioni]
And the Rat Laughed (novel) , Yedioth Ahronoth, 2001 [Tzchok Shel Achbarosh]
Isra Isle (novel) , Yedioth Ahronoth, 2005 [Eesrael]
Australian Wedding (autobiographical fiction) , Am Oved, 2009 [Chatuna Ostralit]
Flying Away [with Ella Milch-Sheriff] (libretto), The Institute of Israeli Drama, 2010 [Laʹuf Mi-Kan]
Head on Backwards (novel) , Zmora-Bitan, 2011 [Rosh-Akom]
Hymn to the Bible (poetry) , Even Hoshen, 2015 [Mizmor La-Tanach]
Fanny and Gabriel (novel) , Zmora-Bitan, 2017 [Fanny Ve-Gavriel]
Becoming Gershona (youth) , Am Oved, 1988 [Gershona-Shona]
Flying Lessons [Flying Away] (youth) , Am Oved, 1990; Yedioth Ahronoth, 2004 [Morris Chavivʹel Melamed Laʹuf; Laʹuf Mi-Kan]
Who Stole the Show? (children) , Yedioth Ahronoth, 1997 [Mi Ganav Et Ha-Hatzaga]
Nighty Nite (lullabies), Yedioth Ahronoth, 1998 [Lailuna]
Awake in My Sleep (lullabies), Sifriat Poalim, 2000 [Yashen Hu Er Be-Makom Acher]
The Courage to be Afraid (children) , Sifriat Poalim, 2004 [Ha-Ometz Lefached]
Love for Beginners (youth) , Yedioth Ahronoth, 2006 [Eich Matchilim Ahava]
The Backpack Fairy (children) , Sifriat Poalim, 2011 [Fe-Yaya Ve-Ha-Tarmish]
The Bell Maiden (children) , Dani Sfarim, 2015 [Yaldat Ha-Pa'amon]
Taking Wing (Mercurium Trilogy, 1) [under the name: Huan B. Landi] (fantasy novel) , Kinneret, Zmora-Bitan, 2016 [Me'ofefet: Mercurium: Sefer Rishon]
Sheindel's Candles (children) , Yedioth Ahronoth, forthcoming [Ha-Pamotim Shel Sheindele]
An Old Woman [Haifa, 1983]
The Child Behind the Eyes [Haifa, 1986; Rome, 1990; New York, 1991; Los Angeles, 1996; Prague, 1997; Arab Theater of the Galilee, 2001; Romania (Sibiu Theatre Festival), 2004; Romania (Resita), 2005; Ankara, 2005; Lodz, 2006; Bucharest, 2007; Amsterdam, 2012]
Hi Old Man [The State Youth Theatre, 2003]
And the Rat Laughed [with Ella Milch-Sheriff] (opera) [Cameri, 2005; Warsaw, 2006; Bucharest, 2007; Toronto, 2009]
Flying Away [with Ella Milch-Sheriff] (opera) [Cameri, 2010]
The Bell Maiden [with Ben Artzi] [Beit Lessin & Holon Mediatheque, 2012]
Back to Isra Isle [Theatroneto Festival, 2013; Itim Ensemble, 2015]

Books in Translation

Italian: Naples, Guida, 2002
German: Frankfurt, Dr. Orgler Verlag, 2000
Romanian: Bucharest, Hasefer, 2003
German: Weinheim, Beltz & Gelberg, 2003; pback: 2005
Romanian: Bucharest, Pandora, 2000
English: Victoria, Austr., Hybrid, 2012

Turkish: Istanbul, Cizmeli kedi, forthcoming 

Italian: Macerata, EUM Edizioni, forthcoming

German: Mannheim, Persona, 2007
English: Victoria, Austr., Hybrid, 2008
Italian: Rome, Atmosphere Libri, 2012
Romanian: Bucharest, Hasefer, 2014
English: Simsbury, CT, Mandel Vilar Press, 2016
Italian: Livorno, Belforte, 2013
English: New York, Viking Penguin, 1990; pback: New York, Puffin (Penguin), 1992
Italian: Florence, La Casa Usher, 1990; pback: Verona, Mondadori, 1999
German: Frankfurt, Alibaba, 1993; pback: Frankfurt, Fischer, 1995; 2004; 2005
Romanian: Bucharest, Fiat Lux, 1995
Dutch: Baarn, Fontein, 2000
English: New York, Simon & Schuster, 1995
German: Berlin, Elefanten Press, 1995; Pback: Weinheim, Beltz & Gelberg, 2000
Italian: Verona, Mondadori, 1997
Czech: Prague, Albatros, 1998
Spanish: Madrid, Loguez, 1998
Dutch: Baarn, Fontein, 1999
Serbian: Belgrade, Book & Marso, 2008
Chinese: Nanjing, Jiangsu Children's Pub., 2016
Italian: Verona, Mondadori, 2003
Romanian/English: Bucharest, Hasefer, 2007
Italian: Casale Monferrato, Sonda, 2007
Czech: Praque, Albatros, 2009
German: Berlin, Jacoby & Stuart, 2010
Slovak: Bratislava, Q111, 2011

Romanian: Bucharest, Hasefer, forthcoming

Zionist to the End [by Yitzhak Artzi with Nava Semel]

Romanian: Bucharest, Hasefer, 1999

Congratulations to Zeruya Shalev and Shifra Horn for receiving the 2017 Adei Wizo Prize.

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award! The books on the longlist are selected by 400 libraries worldwide. Titles are nominated on the basis of ‘high literary merit’ as determined by the nominating library.
The second edition of the Letters of Israel festival will take place in Paris from September 8 to 18, 2017
After the success of its first edition, the Lettres d'Israël festival is gaining momentum, with an enriched program: meetings, conversations, readings , Theater, major authors and discoveries. Zeruya Shalev, Orly Castel-bloom, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Iris Argaman, and many more will participate. Click here for the full program:
Call for application: Artists in Residence Programme in Austria. Please note the deadline: September 18th, 2017.
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery makes available 50 residencies to visual artists / art photographers / composers / video and media artists / writers / literary translators and arts and cultural educators in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2018. For more details:
Yizhak Mayer: "Meet the Author" Event
Ambassador Yizhak Mayer, author of the moving book “Silent Letter” will hold a “meet the author” event in Netanya. For further info about the event: And for more details about the title click here:
ITHL director on Grossman's win
"Grossman winning is not only his own achievement, but the achievement of the Hebrew literature as a whole", - Nilli Cohen on the first Hebrew author to receive Man Booker International Prize. Click here for the full article in Hebrew.
Chana Bloch dies at 77
Chana Bloch, a revered poet and translator from Hebrew and Yiddish, has sadly passed away earlier this month. Among her many remarkable achievements is the wonderful translation of a collection of poems by Dahlia Ravikovitch​ (W. W. Norton & Company). Chana will be greatly missed.
Yitzchak Mayer's personal website goes live
English edition of Yitzchak Mayer's amazing "Silent Letter" is about to come out with Mosaic Press. Learn more about the author's incredible life story on his brand new website.
Dayan on feminism and writing
Following the release of "Transitions" in English, Yael Dayan talks to Lilith Magazine about her past aspirations and present pursuits. Click here to read the full interview.
Gundar-Goshen's Op-Ed for Time
To mark the US publication of "Waking Lions" Ayelet Gundar-Goshen talks about the refugee crisis, internal walls and people behind them in the op-ed for Time. Click here to read the article.
MHL - New webzine starting soon!