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To Free an Elephant

Daniella Carmi
With sensitivity, humor and a greal deal of originality, Daniella Carmi describes the world of people incarcerated in a Jerusalem mental institution. This lyrical novel tells the story of the patients from their own point of view rather than from that of the observer.
The mentally ill are depicted as amphibious creatures or as pajama-clad infants at the beginning of their evolutionary development. Then there are the doctors and nurses, who blend into the virtual reality created by the patients. Madness is conceived here as a kind of escape into a primeval state, and as a struggle to emerge from the primordial soup onto dry land. This process passes through swamps, islands, mountains and fields, and the narrator does not attempt to analyze it in psychological terms. Therein lies the power of the book: it creates another reality that the reader can sense and identify with.
While this is the story of Maurice, Alex and Arik, each with an identity and memories of his own, it is above all the story of the narrator, who is fleeing from her childhood memories, cut off from a mother who is in some remote country. Once she used to write appeals for help on railway carriages; now that she is an adult, she travels by train to a meeting with the "elephant liberator," since the elephant symbolizes intelligence, power and freedom. The book contains photographs of psychiatric hospitals in Jerusalem, all of which belonged to Palestinians in the pre-State period. In this way, Carmi hints at the parallelism between the situation of the Palestinians and the condition of mental patients in Israel, who are rejected by society, but are released, go out into the world and try to live - despite everything - within the Israeli experience.

Excerpts available in French translation (for publishers only)

Title To Free an Elephant
Author’s Last Name Carmi
Author's First Name Daniella
Genre novella
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2001
No. Pages 133 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Leshachrer Pil: Masa Bricha Mi-Zichronot Yaldut Mefukpakim
Representation Represented by ITHL


Congratulations to Barabara Harshav for the 2018 PEN Medal for Translation!
The prize is given to a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of their work. Barbara Harshav has been translating works from French, German, Hebrew and Yiddish for over twenty years and has currently published over forty books of translation. Among the many Hebrew authors she has translated: Yoram Kaniuk, Agnon, Yehudit Hendel, Yehuda Amichai and many more.
The Ministry of Culture and Sport announced the names of the winners of the Arik Einstein Veterans Artists Prize.
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!
Congratulations to Ronit Matalon, the recipient of the 2017 Brenner prize for her book 'And the Bride Closed the Door". And, congratulations to Amir ziv, the recipent of the first ever Brenner prize for debut novels.
Ronit Matalon's book tells the story of Margie, a young bride, who shuts herself up in her mother's bedroom and declares that she won’t get married. Her family gathers at the locked door, not knowing what to do. Amir Ziv tells a story that begins as an apparently routine correspondence between a prying citizen, secretly in love with his neighbor, and a conscientious municipal clerk, and developes into an uncovering of a great underlying drama.
The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop April 29 to May 5, 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: Sunday, April 29, 2018 until Saturday, May 5, 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, and Gadi Goldberg,
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

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.
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.
MHL - New webzine starting soon!