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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 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.
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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,
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Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award
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