Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Chana Bat Shahar  \ 

The Girl from Lake Michigan

Chana Bat Shahar
This is the tale of a religious woman`s long journey from psychological dependence to spiritual emancipation, as she discovers her identity and gains confidence in her own powers. Haya-Tova, known as Minnie, grew up in the patriarchal Jewish world that engenders in a woman dependency on a man, first her father, then her husband. She is the daughter of a rabbi in Chicago, but unlike her girlfriends who suppress their desires, hers run free. At 16 she falls in love with Hillel, her father`s faithful student, many years her senior – "the wrong man" as defined by her stepmother. A forbidden relationship evolves, but Minnie never wins Hillel. Her father packs her off to Jerusalem, where she later hears that Hillel has married a rich and attractive widow with a son from a previous marriage. Minnie is far from her family, living in a community of ultra-Orthodox, North American immigrants. She studies, she works and she devotes herself to community service. She is even wooed by an aging bachelor called Stein, whose sister Susie, a victim of unrequited love, has sunk into depression and insanity. Minnie identifies with Susie, not only because she, too, has been abandoned by a man, but because she cannot free herself of her own love for Hillel. She continues to love him from a distance, for many years. When he visits Jerusalem with his wife, her old love blooms again. But Hillel dies of a heart attack, and once more Minnie falls in love with the wrong man, Hillel`s stepson Johnny, a Bohemian, a dancer and an AIDS patient.
For twenty years Minnie longs for unattainable men, one after the other. The book`s strength lies in the psychological possibilities it fosters, the relationships between the characters, and the protagonist`s ultimate release from her psychological trap.

Partial English translation available (for publishers only)

The Girl from Lake Michigan
Title The Girl from Lake Michigan
Author’s Last Name Bat Shahar
Author's First Name Chana
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2002
No. Pages 229 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Naʹara Me-Agam Mishigan
Representation Represented by ITHL


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.
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:
Yizhak Mayer: "Meet the Author" Event
Ambassador Yizhak Mayer, author of the moving book “Silent Letter” will hold a “meet the author” event in Netanya. For further info about the event: And for more details about the title click here:
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.
Chana Bloch dies at 77
Chana Bloch, a revered poet and translator from Hebrew and Yiddish, has sadly passed away earlier this month. Among her many remarkable achievements is the wonderful translation of a collection of poems by Dahlia Ravikovitch​ (W. W. Norton & Company). Chana will be greatly missed.
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.
Dayan on feminism and writing
Following the release of "Transitions" in English, Yael Dayan talks to Lilith Magazine about her past aspirations and present pursuits. Click here to read the full interview.
Gundar-Goshen's Op-Ed for Time
To mark the US publication of "Waking Lions" Ayelet Gundar-Goshen talks about the refugee crisis, internal walls and people behind them in the op-ed for Time. Click here to read the article.
MHL - New webzine starting soon!