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My First Sony

Benny Barbash

Funny, bittersweet and often shocking, the story of 10-year-old Yotam’s family unfolds via the recordings Yotam made on a tape recorder he got from his father. For several years, the boy records the goings-on in his family, and through this medium the reader also observes a panorama of Israel in the ‘80s, with all its political extremes. Yotam's architect mother is a leftist, born in Argentina, a vociferous supporter of the Peace Now movement; his father, a mediocre playwright, is too busy cheating on his wife and promoting his reputation as a womanizer to have consistent political views. In addition, there are Yotam’s older brother and younger sister, two crazy aunts, right-wing religious uncles, four grandparents and more. But My First Sony is not simply a mirror of contemporary Israeli society. Yotam’s tapes monitor the gradual dissolution of his parents’ unhappy marriage, and the rhythms of the family dance, carried out over several generations.

A funny and hyper-realistic chonicle with irresistible scenes of political-familial hysteria... Deliciously precise and mocking.

A talented, profound and subtle writer.
Livres Hebdo

Delicious humor and a razor-sharp perception for the absurd in life.
Berliner Morgenpost

Barabash's achievement is that he has made intelligible... the relationship in Israel today between the historical conflict and the contemporary one.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Masterly. Benny Barbash is one of the rising Israeli writers.
Navtemboriki (Greece)


Title My First Sony
Author’s Last Name Barbash
Author's First Name Benny
Language(s) English, German, French, Italian, Greek, Spanish
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1994
No. Pages 224 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) My First Sony
Representation Represented by ITHL


English: London, Headline Reviews, 1999; pback: London, Review, 1999
German: Berlin, Berlin Verlag, 1996; pback: Berlin, Ullstein,1999; Berlin, List, 2003, Berlin, BTV, 2009
Greek: Athens, Gavrielides, 1997
Italian: Florence, Giuntina, 2005
French: Paris, Zulma, 2008; pback: Paris, Points, 2011: pback: Paris, Zulma, 2016 
Spanish: Barcelona, Blackie Books, 2016
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:
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MHL - New webzine starting soon!