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The Glass Butterfly

Mira Magen
Dr Uriah Adam, a family doctor from Jerusalem, was abandoned by his mother when he was ten. He grew up in the home of his grandmother, Mamma Ruth, a warm and loving woman who tried to give him a normal childhood. His mother Eva was a free spirit, giving no thought to anyone but herself. She went with many men but was not attached to any, and had Uriah with one of her lovers when she was nineteen. She told young Uriah that his father had been run over by a garbage truck and died. "But you," she added, "you will be whatever you want." Until the age of ten, Uriah wandered with her from one squalid apartment to another, went with her to work cleaning staircases and selling glass beads on the street, and defended her honor when children called her names. Then, one day, she disappeared without a trace. Twenty-five years later, she leaves a message on Uriah`s answering machine: she will be returning to Israel from abroad in three days time and wants to meet him.
The plot of this poignant novel takes place during the four days leading up to and including his mother`s arrival, weaving pictures from Uriah`s difficult childhood with scenes of his life as a grown man who has become the opposite of his mother. Uriah deals with memories of the past and the enigma of his father on the one hand, with present relationships as well as his involvement with his patients on the other. At 35 he is still single, and is exploring his feelings toward Eliana who is about to start her career as a neurologist. He himself gave up on the idea of a high-profile career and has chosen instead to help people as a family doctor in a run-down neighborhood. After work, he visits Mamma Ruth in a nursing home and Jonathan, a patient who is in hospital with a brain tumor. Will Uriah forgive the mother who abandoned him? Will he listen to her explanations and lies? Can there be any doubt how such a sensitive man to will act?

A superb novel.

A dazzling novel... the mother's confession is a magnificent meditation on the unsaid and the lies hiding in the wings of family life. 

With her incomparable style, Mira Magen has again succeeded in writing a wonderful novel full of love, longing and sadness.
David: Jüdische Kulturzeitung

English translation available (for publishers only)

Magen The Glass Butterfly
Title The Glass Butterfly
Author’s Last Name Magen
Author's First Name Mira
Language(s) German, French
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2005
No. Pages 294 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Parparim Be-Geshem
Representation Represented by ITHL


German: Munich, dtv, 2007
French: Paris, Mercure de France, 2008
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.
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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,
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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
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