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The Mina Lisa

Orly Castel-Bloom
Orly Castel-Bloom's imagination and humor are wilder than ever in this third novel, drawing the readers into fantastic adventures in a world of twisted logic. Everything, however, begins in a typical Israeli setting.
Mina, a happy 38-year-old housewife, looks after her husband Oved, her three children and her home. Enter Flora, her husband's grandmother, who comes to live with them. An old lady like any other? Not quite. Flora throws her food out the window and eats paper instead. More precisely, she devours Mina's screenplays, stashed in drawers, because she is convinced they will never be made into films.
"She has already eaten real masterpieces," Oved tells Mina, revealing that Flora is more than 200 years old. Born in the 18th century in Crete, she has been blessed with longevity for having followed the commandment, 'Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long.' From the moment Flora tastes Mina's screenplays, she cannot eat anything else. When the screenplays are finished, Mina, who has abandoned writing, refuses to supply new ones, and Flora grows weaker.
But when Flora reveals her involvement in the 'Time Police,' Mina complies and returns to writing. The two women fly off on a fanciful journey in time, hoping to discover what became of the 'Time Police' Chief, who was once Flora's lover. They arrive in a world that is a mixture of reality and illusion, where women are chained to their pens and forced to write screenplays. In the end Mina liberates her fellow screenwriters and rescues Flora from a bitter fate. Oved, whose dream has been to hold in his own hands – if only for three seconds – the real, eternal and precious "Mona Lisa," must make do with his own Mina Lisa, who returns to him and to her quiet life. Flora, who has had enough of living, takes her last breath and passes on at the ripe old age of 203.

A brilliant and funny work...the charm of Castel-Bloom's 'fizzy realism'...lies in its direct power.
Author Batya Gur

Brilliant...Orly Castel-Bloom's ambitious and thoughtful sixth book makes you want to read her previous works.

Castel-Bloom is the most controversial writer of her generation, with a fantastic tale, where literary creation plays a major role.
L'Arche (France)

English & Italian translations available (for publishers only)

The Mina Lisa
Title The Mina Lisa
Author’s Last Name Castel-Bloom
Author's First Name Orly
Language(s) German, French, Chinese
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1995
No. Pages 149 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Mina Lisa
Representation Represented by ITHL


French: Arles, Actes Sud, 1998
Chinese: Beijing, China Social Sciences, 1998
German: Munich, Piper (Malik), 1998
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!