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Head on Backwards

Nava Semel
A farm house in a small Italian village during the Nazi occupation. Madelene, a promising young opera singer, and her handicapped mother Dominica, struggle to survive after adopting a young orphan boy, Tomaso. One day, Tomaso senses a foreign presence in the house. But his questions are violently rejected and the two women he loves so much humiliate him publicly, claiming that he has his "head on backwards". To cope with the emotional blow, Tomaso retreats into his imagination. Convinced that a mysterious princess is trapped in the attic, he sends her gifts and letters up the chimney, in secret. When a German soldier falls in love with Madelene their lives become even more unsettled. Will the soldier`s protection shield the family, or will his arrival reveal the preciously guarded secret? This story, written during the Nazi occupation, ends up in the hands of a nurse in a Tel Aviv hospital who then tells it to a patient in a coma, in an attempt to awaken him. This moving novel raises the difficult question: What price will people pay to maintain their humanity in dire circumstances, and how far are we willing to go to save a single soul?




A powerful novel of great significance.
Maariv

Nava Semel’s book is a wise, multi-layered fairy tale. It gives us the feeling that we have strayed into one of the darkest Grimm brothers’ tales… Head on Backwards resonates in the heart as a special story that shifts from despair to compassion.
Haaretz

It is impossible not to get hooked on the characters this book.
Maariv-NRG
 
An enigmatic, exciting novel that is beautifully written, with something approaching genius.
Ynet


Semel Head on Backwards
Title Head on Backwards
Author’s Last Name Semel
Author's First Name Nava
Language(s) Italian
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Zmora-Bitan
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2011
No. Pages 308 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Rosh-Akom
Representation Represented by ITHL

Translations

Italian: Livorno, Belforte, 2013
 
NEWS

Professional program of literary translation 2018 September 3rd - November 11th - CITL of Arles (France) November 22 - 27 - Tel Aviv (Israel) Deadline for filing applications with the CITL: Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Details in the link below
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Call for applications English speakers: Stay culture in Paris (deadline: June 12th, 2018)
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Congratulations to Sami Berdugo and Shoham Smith, recipients of the 2018 Bialik Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Israel!

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A prize of 50,000 NIS was given to each of the 21 artists who worked and are still working to promote Israeli culture in various fields -Music, dance, theater, plastic arts, cinema and literature. In the literature category the winners were Ronny Someck, Jacob Buchan and Shlomit Cohen-Assif. Also, Anat Masiach is among the recipient of the prize for debut literary works. Congratulations!
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The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop November 4th to 10th, 2018 Beit Ben-Yehuda, Jerusalem
After workshops in Berlin, Jerusalem and Straelen, the workshop will return to Jerusalem this spring. This workshop will focus on the participants translations. These are unfinished translations that have not yet been published. These will be sent to all participants. The workshop is open to 10 participants and is intended for literary translators with experience and publications. Workshop facilitators: Anne Birkenhauer and Gadi Goldberg Prerequisites: At least one published translation Duration: November 4th 2018 until November 10th, 2018 Location: Beit Ben-Yehuda, 28 Ein Gedi St., 93383 Jerusalem Participation fee: Participation (Accommodation and meals) is free of charge. Travel / flight expenses will be refunded. For more details and for the documents required for submitting application: Anne Birkenhauer, birkenhauer@013.net and Gadi Goldberg, gadi.goldberg@gmail.com
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