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Yosef Haim Brenner

Yosef Haim Brenner (1881-1921) was born in Novi Mlini, Ukraine. He received a religious education but as a young man joined the Bund, a Jewish socialist movement, and later became a Zionist. He published his first story in 1900. At the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese war, after serving in the Russian army for three years, he escaped to London with the help of friends. There he worked as a typesetter and edited a Hebrew publication. He immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1909.
Brenner initially worked as an agricultural laborer in Hadera but later taught Hebrew grammar and literature in high school. When the Jews of Jaffa and Tel Aviv were driven out by the Turkish authorities, he moved to Hadera, returning to Jaffa only after the British conquest.
Essayist, critic, commentator, translator, novelist and poet, Brenner was the most prominent literary figure in Eretz Israel in his day, and in effect shifted the center of Hebrew literary activities away from Europe.
Brenner, killed by Arab rioters in 1921, expounded apparently paradoxical views. An ardent Zionist who passionately encouraged immigration, he was an equally fierce critic of both Zionism and Jews. A scathingly honest pessimist by nature, his prose nonetheless professes a belief in artistic truth when all other faith fails. In Brenner`s vision, life is comprised of never-ending hardship and disaster; it is nothing more than a struggle for existence in a world of darkness and illusion. His characters, skeptical and hesitant, flee into madness and death, and Judaism is portrayed as fading.

Yosef Haim Brenner

Books Published in Hebrew

Out of a Gloomy Valley (stories), Warsaw: Tushiyah, 1900 [Me-Emek Achor]
In Winter (novel), Ha-Shiloah [periodical], 1903; Krakow: Ahiasaf, 1904 [Ba-Choref]
Around the Point (novel), Ha-Shiloah [periodical], 1904 [Misaviv La-Nekuda]
Beyond the Border (play) Ha-Meorer [periodical], 1907; London: Y. Groditzky, 1907 [Me-Ever Li-Gvulin]
Out of the Depth [Out of Distress] (novella), Ha-Olam [weekly], 1908-1909; Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah, 2006 [Min Ha-Meitzar]
Between Water and Water (novella), Warsaw: Sifrut, 1909; Gvanim, 1996 [Bein Mayim Le-Mayim]
Collected Works [1 vol.], Kruglyiakov, 1909 [Kitvei Y. H. Brenner]
Nerves (novella), Lvov: Shalechet [anthology], 1910 [Atzabim]
From Here and There (novel), Warsaw: Sifrut, 1911 [Mi-Kan U-Mi-Kan]
The Way Out (story), Ha-Aretz Ve-Ha-Avoda [periodical], 1919; Hapoel Hatzair, 1921 [Ha-Motza]
Breakdown and Bereavement (novel) , New York: Stybel, 1920; Am Oved, 1972; Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2006 [Shchol Ve-Kishalon, O, Sefer Ha-Hitlabtut]
The Slander (story), Ha-Adama [periodical], 1920 [Avla]
Collected Works [8 vols. in 9 books], Stybel, 1924-1930; [3 vols.], Am Oved, 1946-1951; [3 vols.], Hakibbutz Hameuchad, Dvir, 1955-1967; [4 vols.], Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1978-1985 [Kol Kitvei Y. H. Brenner; Ktavim]
From the Beginning (novella), Tarmil, 1971 [Me-Hatchala]
Stories, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1980 [Bein Mayim Le-Mayim; Atzabim; Ha-Motza; Avla]
The Yiddish Writings, Anna and Harry Singer Chair in Yiddish Studies/ Ben-Gurion University, 1985 [Ha-Ktavim Ha-Yiddiyim]
In Winter; Around the Point (novels), Dvir, 1988; 2007 [Ba-Choref; Mi-Saviv La-Nekuda]
The Way Out; The Slander (stories), Babel, 2001 [Ha-Motza; Avla]
At Night (story), Sfarim, 2006 [Ba-Neshef]

Books in Translation

English: London, Cornell Univ. Press, 1971; Philadelphia, JPS, 1971; New York/London, Toby Press, 2004
Chinese: Hefei, Anhui Literature and Art, 1998

English: In: Eight Great Hebrew Short Novels, New York, New American Library, 1983
Spanish: In: Ocho Obras Maestras de la Narrativa Hebrea, Barcelona, Riopiedras, 1989
French: Paris, lntertextes, 1989; Paris, Noel Blandin, 1991

Out of the Depths
English: Colorado, Westview Press, 1992; New York/London, Toby Press, 2008

Around the Point
Yiddish: Berlin, Yiddisher Literarisher Verlag, 1923

In the Winter
Yiddish: Warsaw, Literarisher Bleter, 1936
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!