Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Gabriela Avigur-Rotem  \ 

Heatwave and Crazy Birds

Gabriela Avigur-Rotem
The story of Loya Kaplan is also the story of Israeli society’s attempt to bury its Jewish past and the Holocaust in the deep recesses of national memory, linking up instead to its more distant biblical past. However, short-term memory refuses to be repressed, and erupts 50 years later. Loya, born as Lea in 1946, immigrated to Israel with her parents and half-brother, Nahum, former inmates of the Terezin ghetto during the war. Her mother, Milena, a communist activist, left her husband and two children several years later and returned to Czechoslovakia, where she was arrested and was unable to maintain contact with her family in Israel. Loya was raised as a motherless child in a household with two fathers: her natural father, a professor of archaeology, and his friend, Davidi – Nahum`s father and Milena`s erstwhile fiancי. After her father`s death, Loya leaves her childhood neighborhood and works as a flight attendant for several years, detaching herself completely from her past and from Israel. At age 48, Loya returns to her childhood home, which she has inherited from Davidi. After Nahum is killed in a flying accident, Loya attempts to re-establish links with the neighborhood where she grew up and her childhood friends. Her journey into her past is actually a journey into her parents` past, since they told her nothing of their wartime experiences. Loya immerses herself in the journal her father kept in the ghetto. By means of this journal and letters she finds, she discovers that her mother is not dead, as she had always thought, but returned to Czechoslovakia for idealogical reasons. Armed with this information, Loya travels to Czechoslovakia, arrives in Terezin, and locates her elderly mother, who had been released from protracted political imprisonment several years earlier. The atmosphere of this novel and the descriptions it contains are unmistakably Israeli. It aspires to deal with some of the most complex problems facing Israeli society.

Title Heatwave and Crazy Birds
Author’s Last Name Avigur-Rotem
Author's First Name Gabriela
Language(s) English, German, French, Italian
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Keshet
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2001
Publisher 2 (Hebrew) Kinneret, Zmora-Bitan
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 2008
No. Pages 375 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Chamsin Ve-Tziporim Meshugaot
Representation Represented by ITHL


French: Arles, Actes Sud, 2006
Italian: Milan, Baldini & Castoldi, 2004
German: Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 2008
English: Champaign, IL, Dalkey Archive, 2011
"An original, extraordinary book" The Brenner prize committee
Congratulations to Noga Albalach, winner of the 2018 Brenner prize for her book "The Old Man (Farewell)".
Residencies in Vienna and Salzburg
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery offers 50 residencies in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2019. Applications can be submitted for literature, literature for children and young adults and literary translations. Please note the deadline of September 30th, 2018.
Call for applications English speakers: Stay culture in Paris (deadline: June 12th, 2018)
Details in the attached link
Congratulations to Sami Berdugo and Shoham Smith, recipients of the 2018 Bialik Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Israel!

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!
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, and Gadi Goldberg,
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

MHL - New webzine starting soon!