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Orphans

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

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Residencies in Vienna and Salzburg
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery offers 50 residencies in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2019. Applications can be submitted for literature, literature for children and young adults and literary translations. Please note the deadline of September 30th, 2018.
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Congratulations to Sami Berdugo and Shoham Smith, recipients of the 2018 Bialik Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Israel!

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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!
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The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop November 4th to 10th, 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: November 4th 2018 until November 10th, 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, birkenhauer@013.net and Gadi Goldberg, gadi.goldberg@gmail.com
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