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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

Professional program of literary translation 2018 September 3rd - November 11th - CITL of Arles (France) November 22 - 27 - Tel Aviv (Israel) Deadline for filing applications with the CITL: Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Details in the link below
Call for applications English speakers: Stay culture in Paris (deadline: June 12th, 2018)
Details in the attached link
Congratulations to Sami Berdugo and Shoham Smith, recipients of the 2018 Bialik Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Israel!

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!
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, and Gadi Goldberg,
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

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