Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Nava Semel  \ 

Night Games

Nava Semel
Night Games tells the story of forty-something Israelis. It is the first Israeli novel to focus on Israeli "Baby Boomers"; this is the generation of sons and daughters of new immigrants who confront their fragile identity with nostalgia, occasional regret and mostly with painful sobriety. They are forced to face themselves in the mirror and ask, "Where do we go from here?"
On the eve of Israel's Independence Day in 1987, a few months before the outbreak of the Arab uprising in the West Bank, several old friends (representing a cross-section of Israeli society) gather for a scavenger hunt.
Ten riddles are concealed in various historical sites around the city of Haifa in northern Israel, where Arabs and Jews have lived in fragile co-existence for many years. The group draw lots and break up into teams. Each team consists of a man and woman who are not partners in real life. So the group embark on a dangerous night of games, risking their safe and solid friendships. Enthusiasm abounds as the players look forward to reverting to their carefree youth. But things don't go quite according to plan. On the way, they encounter other people, notably Arabs who share the same land and attempt to impart a new meaning to the term "patriotism." Personal conflicts and marital struggles are exposed during the long night; forbidden love and vengeance, disappointments and shattered dreams lie at the heart of the novel. The emotional crossroads which the group reach reflects that of a society struggling to achieve a normal existence, desperately endeavoring to fulfil a national dream after four decades of intermittent wars.

Semel writes with great talent and impressive narrative ability... She has succeeded in creating an Israeli microcosm. You cannot for one moment remain indifferent.
Yedioth Ahronoth.

A fascinating document about the Israeli society.
Israel TV 

A fascinating voyage following memories and associations.
Gale'i Tsahal Radio

Partial English translation available (for publishers only)

Semel Night Games
Title Night Games
Author’s Last Name Semel
Author's First Name Nava
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1994
No. Pages 283 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Rally Masa Matara
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!