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Free Radicals

Orly Castel-Bloom
In this collection of stories by Orly Castel-Bloom, the author appears more as a political, sharp-tongued writer than in any of her works. The satirical stories revolve around an idea or witticism about Israeli society and Israeli characters from the familiar reality. She attacks the icons of Israeli society - the military establishment, government institutions and the media - while pointing out typical Israeli syndromes, which trouble the entire society. She makes her point using humor and absurdity, as in the story about the fear of earthquakes, which can be read as a parable about collective fear regarding catastrophes such as chemical warfare. The solution offered by the authorities, a secret factory that manufactures whistles that supposedly save people from earthquakes, is nothing but a useless sedative, and is intended to divert public attention and award a false sense of security. Castel-Bloom`s Israelis are not only riddled with anxiety; they also try to search for meaning, to find their roots and deal with death. There are also artists, patronized by society and regarded with suspicion, but it is the respectable members of society who keep everyone on a short leash. Such is the bored pub owner who ran over a woman midget while she was crossing the street. Suddenly the wall of serenity he has built around his life crumbles. He asks himself in a philosophical tone, "Am I so irrelevant that my life can just turn itself around without my being asked if I am interested in another jolt? Is man so irrelevant that a single car accident renders it all pointless? Has it all been for nothing?"

Selected stories available in English translation (for publishers only)

Castel-Bl_Free Radicals_Heb
Title Free Radicals
Author’s Last Name Castel-Bloom
Author's First Name Orly
Language(s) Hebrew, French
Genre stories
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2000
No. Pages 157 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Radikalim Chofshiyim
Representation Represented by ITHL


French: Arles, Actes Sud, 2003
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:
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"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.
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MHL - New webzine starting soon!