Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Ron Barkai  \ 

The Woman Who Loved Stories

Ron Barkai
Pasionario Litvak, the hero of this novel, is an Israeli scholar of the Spanish Civil War. During the 1930s, Pasionario`s father left his native Palestine to join the fight with the anti-fascists in Spain, and he never reconciled himself to their defeat. He even named his son Pasionario after the light of his life, the revolution`s heroine, La Pasionaria. As an adult, inspired by his father’s struggle, Pasionario is drawn to the land that expelled the Jews in the 15th century, where he then burrows himself in its archives; in Madrid he even meets the aged La Pasionaria. However, his colorful personality and lust for life suits his name better than the more popular image of an aloof, even-handed academic. After becoming emotionally involved with his subject, he now focuses his interest more on people rather than on events, on improving the present rather than on the past. Pasionario also frequents the bars and cafיs of Salamanca, where he meets fascinating people and flirts with a variety of clever, independent women. One of them is Viki, an Israeli supporting herself by prostitution, who loves listening to stories so much that it is becoming a sort of addiction. She returns to Israel with Pasionario, but leaves him eventually to find a husband. Parting from the woman who so loved his stories upsets Pasionario’s delicate emotional balance, and he drifts into extremes. The idealist in him resolves to undo the historic evils of the Spanish Civil War and heal old wounds. He returns to the archives in Spain, where he steals letters from a fallen soldier and tries to deliver them to their addressees who are still alive. He fails, the theft is discovered and he is deported to Israel. There he enters a mental hospital and organizes a rebellion of the patients against the management and medical staff. This colorful, humorous novel deals with the fine line that divides madness from sanity, obsession from desire, and an outdated idealism from the drab ridiculousness of everyday life.

Barkai The Woman Who Loved Stories
Title The Woman Who Loved Stories
Author’s Last Name Barkai
Author's First Name Ron
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Xargol
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2003
No. Pages 254 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Isha She-Ahava Sipurim
Representation Represented by ITHL


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.
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:
ITHL director on Grossman's win
"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.
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!