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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


"An original, extraordinary book" The Brenner prize committee
Congratulations to Noga Albalach, winner of the 2018 Brenner prize for her book "The Old Man (Farewell)".
Residencies in Vienna and Salzburg
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery offers 50 residencies in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2019. Applications can be submitted for literature, literature for children and young adults and literary translations. Please note the deadline of September 30th, 2018.
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".

MHL - New webzine starting soon!