Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Sami Berdugo  \ 


Sami Berdugo
These two novellas both deal with protagonists of North African descent, who are partly assimilated, yet feel separate from the mainstream. In the first, 18-year-old Yechiel, the youngest son of a large working family from Morocco, is about to be inducted into the army and is torn between excitement - he wants to prove himself "a man" like his older brother, Shiko - and a deep fear of the dangerous years ahead. Against this backdrop, his mother suddenly becomes pregnant at the age of fifty-two. The strong figure in the family, she insists on having the baby, and we follow the insidious drama that erupts as a result: Shiko`s contempt for their father whom he sees as a weakling, his attempt to dominate his mother and his humiliating attitude towards their grandmother play off against other power struggles that surface within the family as the narrator tries in vain to find his way.
In contrast to the birth at the end of the first novella, the central theme of the second is orphanhood. Forty-year-old Shmuel`s family is falling apart. His wife has suddenly disappeared, leaving their children motherless. Shmuel himself still longs for his lost home, Morocco, which he had to leave at age thirteen. He admits that he has never become part of his new country, and this inner split is exacerbated by Israeli reality, with its anxieties, terrorist bombings and existential threat. When Shmuel`s wife is finally found in hospital, it is implied that Shmuel abused her, but the actual facts remain vague. And we are left with the narrator - Shmuel`s - voice suggesting confusion and denial as the source of his violence. Ultimately, the narrators of these two stories appear as two sides of one coin, providing insight into a central aspect of Israeli society.

English translation available (for publishers only)

Berdugo Orphans
Title Orphans
Author’s Last Name Berdugo
Author's First Name Sami
Genre novellas
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2006
No. Pages 196 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Yetomim
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!