Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Dudi Busi  \ 

Mother is Longing for Words

Dudi Busi
This novel examines Israel`s fragile identity and the discrimination that still cuts through it. Iraqi immigrants Nazima and Rahamim waited 14 years for the birth of their son Ovadia, but the joy of his arrival is soon replaced by bitter disappointment. Ovadia does not meet his parents` expectations; he rebels against them and is ashamed of their Iraqi culture. Turning to the more European-Ashkenazi culture of Zionism, he joins the left-wing Hashomer Hatza`ir youth movement and serves as an officer in the paratroops. But towards the end of his military service, he realizes that his escape into Zionism is futile: the Ashkenazi world doesn`t let him forget his origins. Burdened by anger and humiliation, he decides to go to Germany. There, in the country symbolizing the depth of European Jewry`s trauma, he seeks both a new start in life and revenge against the society that rejected him.
Eight years later, after losing all the money he has made in Germany, Ovadia agrees to return to Israel. His parents tempt him by telling him they have converted his father`s Iraqi cafe into a shoe store that he will run. However, when he arrives he discovers that this was a lie and the reunion turns into a confrontation. Ovadia wants his father to demolish the cafe and the conflict that erupts opens up all the issues that were swept under the carpet for years. Through the voices of Rahamim, Nazima and Ovadia, the author exposes some of Israeli society`s festering wounds. As Ovadia and Rahamim fight, each one defending his honor, the character of the mother, Nazima, deepens and becomes more prominent. Nazima, who rebelled against her parents by marrying the impoverished Rahamim instead of her wealthy uncle, still makes sacrifices for him and gives up her own wishes. Yet her unswerving devotion to her family in the face of violence no longer appears as weakness; in fact, it is a response from strength. And this together with the boundless love she expresses make her an unforgettable figure.

[This book] steals your heart, and squeezes and crushes it as well. When that happens, all that remains after wiping away the tears, is to give Busi a standing ovation.
Yedioth Ahronoth 
Dudu Busi’s latest book is like a time bomb, made up of the most sensitive social explosives… Busi writes from the heart without faking it.
An original and moving document.

English translation available (for publishers only)

Busi Mother is Longing for Words
Title Mother is Longing for Words
Author’s Last Name Busi
Author's First Name Dudi
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2006
No. Pages 200 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ima Mitgaʹagaʹat Le-Milim
Representation Represented by ITHL


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!