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The Holy Land Sets Sail

Hagai Dagan
The Holy Land Sets Sail is first and foremost a love song to this small but very vibrant country. That Israel may only exist in old songs and memories, but they come to the fore as the country loses its direction. They also flood Elad, the protagonist, on his way to a class reunion at his kibbutz. He is hoping to meet his highschool sweetheart, 'Violetta,' and his longing for her fuses with his nostalgia for the Israel-that-was.
But this class reunion ends abruptly. A violent earth­quake cracks open the Syrian-African Rift, cuts Israel off from the mainland-and from its heavy history—and sends it sailing across the sea. Together with Elad are Chasia, a Holocaust survivor haunted by fear, but also clairvoyant; Re'ut, a young tour guide from the West Bank, who has an erotic love for the land, and Zuckerman, an ex-Orthodox insurance salesman bent on making a fortune off the crisis. When Israel, "exhausted, worn out, bedraggled by history," finally drops anchor off the coast of Norway, it must study itself anew and try to redefine its identity.

This is a book that refutes all the apocalyptic prophecies foreseeing the decline of Israeli literature. It has a rich and condensed texture … and wonderful descriptions of Israel's landscape … articulated in a personal voice, laden with innocent, humoristic memories and free of any pretension or pretense.



Hagai Dagan is not a writer to avoid exploring new territory or traveling through time, nor is he an author who submits to the dictates of political correctness. His novels deal with journeys that seek to illuminate Israeli reality, as well as imagine its liberation from the social and ideological shackles that may restrict, censor or paralyze it. His new book continues this exploration boldly … This is a lovely and turbulent novel.



This is a rich, farsighted and unpretentious novel … a surprising and powerful apocalyptic novel. 

Hadshot Hadera


Hagai Dagan is not trying to tell a science-fictional catastrophe story. His book … stirs us on the allegorical-fantastic level.

Makor Rishon


Hagai Dagan has written a successful paraphrase on José Saramago's book The Stone Raft and like him, blurred the limit between fantasy and reality … This personal, small and reflective story develops into a powerful and enthralling book.

Pnai Plus


Dagan's idea is excellent.

Kol HaZman


Dagan The Holy Land Sets Sail
Title The Holy Land Sets Sail
Author’s Last Name Dagan
Author's First Name Hagai
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Xargol/ Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2007
No. Pages 180 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Aretz Shata
Representation Represented by ITHL


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!