Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Ayelet Shamir  \ 

The Bed You Make

Ayelet Shamir
Eitan Russo, a strong and introverted man, returns to his childhood home in an old agricultural village after years of estrangement. Two brothers from a neighboring Arab village, Baseel and Majd, help him set up a horse farm together with his girl friend Alona. It is summer 1991, and the day starts with Eitan trying to break in Barb, a beautiful wild stallion that Baseel and Majd have given him as a gift. From the outset it is clear that something terrible will happen in the course of the day, and the plot is built as a high-tension, passion-filled drama, with present events dictated by what happened decades before. For despite his attempt to avoid his destiny, Eitan repeats errors made by his father, Bezalel Russo.
As the story of the past interweaves with the present, dark repressed secrets gradually emerge. Back then in the early 1940s, Bezalel Russo and his wife Ahuva, a loving couple, came and settled in the village, had two sons and made their living growing avocados. But one day, an Arab man disappeared in the avocado grove under mysterious circumstances, and the Russos’ life was wrecked. Bezalel left home and died of heart failure a year later. Ahuva was left a widow, and the younger son emigrated to Australia. Eitan, the firstborn, has never spoken of what happened in his childhood and it is only now, forty years after the trauma, that he confronts his past.
With sweeping intensity, Ayelet Shamir binds together the two distant periods with their enthralling characters and carries the reader on to the dramatic denouement.


A fine, subtle and precise Faulknerian novel … In my eyes, it is a powerful, heart-rending story about the terrible power of the past … I read it in excitement and suspense.
Author Amos Oz

In addition to all the words of praise that have already been said, and are yet to be said, I wish to point out the rare and inspired quality of Ayelet Shamir’s narrative prose, which creates a rich visual and emotional world
Author Abraham B. Yehoshua

Ayelet Shamir’s novel is very unusual in the landscape of Hebrew literature in recent years … It reaches a rare profundity of plot, of emotion and of ideology that exposes the hidden layers of Israeli existence … The Bed You Make arouses admiration and achieves a forgotten literary goal: to look around and within, in order to distinguish and to diagnose; to ponder ourselves, our ancient sins and how they have evolved. 

Very impressive … A must-read…Shamir is tempted again and again by the good stories that her fertile imagination and creativity come up with … Ayelet Shamir writes wonderfully. 
Makor Rishon & Maariv

Ayelet Shamir’s new novel takes pleasure in leading the reader, like an untamed horse, round two main axes of the plot…Shamir leads with the expertise of a realist author … Her comprehensive mastery of the world she depicts inspires the reader to trust her voice.

Yedioth Ahronoth

The charm of Ayelet Shamir’s new novel is like the charm of a fan. A closed fan hides its contents, but when it is spread out it reveals the lovely, colorful picture hidden between its pleats, that tells a complex and multi-dimensional tale ... A work of art of restrained, sensitive writing.
Marah & E-Mago

A marvelous book … Flowing, rich in descriptions and language, it compels you to read right up to the end. Recommended!

A compelling novel, in which the human and animal worlds, wild and domesticated nature, stark naturalism and universal philosophical vision all cross paths. This is a  very Israeli novel, and at the same time it offers sharp insights into the human soul everywhere ... Ayelet Shamir’s writing momentum is formidable. She has a superb talent for shaping a character with all of its mental contortions, its behaviors and quirks ... A stomach-churning book that will stay with its readers long after they have finished reading it.
The Ramat Gan Prize Committee

Title The Bed You Make
Author’s Last Name Shamir
Author's First Name Ayelet
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2013
No. Pages 440 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Mita She-Ata Matziʹa Be-Atzmecha
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!