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Life in Fifty Minutes

Benny Barbash
When it comes to humor there aren’t many Israeli writers who can compete with Benny Barbash, and his new book is further proof of it.
Zahava, married with two grown children, finds a blonde hair on her husband Dov’s undershirt. She suspects that he has a mistress and starts to investigate. Married for over 30 years, she has long lost interest in the man who snores next to her at night. Gone is the attractive guy for whose sake she became religiously observant and gave up everything. Now, he has left religion, lost his looks and developed irritating habits, and she is just a bored, frustrated housewife. So she feels compelled to expose her husband’s treachery.
The methods Zahava uses to solve the mystery of the blonde hair and the mad scenarios that cross her fertile mind make for a hilarious plot. Odd clues bolster her suspicions and feed her obsession: a pistol that she didn’t know about, and a mysterious box in his desk. But despite all her efforts, she can’t open it, and even an expert from the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem finds it impossible.
To crack the secret of the box, readers have to get to the end of the novel, and on the way they will have a hilarious read.


In his prickly, irony-rich language, Barbash dismantles the ancient codes of marriage and takes us on a bitter yet semi-playful trip through realms where everything is imploding.

Yedioth Ahronoth


Barbash is a superb investigator … who tramps freely through the details as he devises an imaginary world … Life in Fifty Minutes ultimately allays all of the fears, every keyhole gets its key, every secret is unravelled. The power of Dov’s love for Zahava is moving. 

Israel Hayom


Read it! I’m sure it will become a movie very soon.

Channel 2 TV                                                                                                 


An engaging and excellent book that reads flowingly … The process that the readers undergo is riveting.



Fine writing … Mesmerizing and enriching.

People of the Book

Title Life in Fifty Minutes
Author’s Last Name Barbash
Author's First Name Benny
Language(s) Hebrew, French
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronot/ Ex Libris
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2014
No. Pages 270 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Chayim Ba-Chamishim Dakot
Representation Represented by ITHL


French: Paris, Zulma, 2016
Congratulations to Zeruya Shalev and Shifra Horn for receiving the 2017 Adei Wizo Prize.

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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!