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A Face in the Cloud

Yossl Birstein
Old Noah Naftali Tirshbein has come to Jerusalem from the U.S. to write the story of his love for a French dancer who many years ago swore to follow him from Poland via China to the U.S. He is also encumbered with the estate of the dead crook Shalom Bitman, who empowered him to find an heir to his fortune and to salvage the lost honor of Yiddish literature.
Tirshbein and the bequest become the focus of attention for a number of old, impoverished Yiddish artists who live out their past in the streets of Jerusalem, fighting dead battles.
Memories become entangled and countless tragicomic characters move between time and space, walking a tightrope between life and death, desperately seeking to engrave their memory on the culture of an indifferent nation.

Birstein is a born storyteller.
Allgemeine Judische Wochenzeitung

Anecdotal stories are sprinkled over his novel like icing sugar... Jerusalem is alive, especially in the street scenes with beggars, magicians, singers, players and yeshiva students.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Birstein's great achievement is to have brought Yiddish culture into our lives with love, a smile and wisdom, thus releasing it in some way from the tragic emotional weight that has been entangled with it since the Holocaust.
Author Amela Einat 

A virtuoso observation of the comic and the grotesque, A Face in the Cloud is an elegy about the Jews of Europe and the destruction of a culture.
Critic Menahem Perry

English translation available (for publishers only)
A Face in the Cloud
Title A Face in the Cloud
Author’s Last Name Birstein
Author's First Name Yossl
Language(s) German, Chinese
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1991
No. Pages 214 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Panim Be-Anan
Representation Represented by ITHL


German: Zurich/Hamburg, Arche, 1993
Chinese: Hefei, Anhui Literature & Art, 1998

Selected Stories
Italian: Florence, La Giuntina, 1996
English (And So Is the Bus: Jerusalem Stories): Takoma Park, MD, Dryad Press, 2016

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.
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