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Fear of Driving in the Fast Lane

Ruthie Vital Gilad

AGE: 11 up

Michal and Alma, friends at high school, set themselves two goals for the summer vacation: to find boyfriends—a priority—and jobs. Michal finds a boyfriend without really trying, but Michal has neither boyfriend nor job—only arguments with her mom and the letters her father left her. After he died, Mom gave her his computer with all the letters he wrote her while he was ill. But it is only now, two years later, that Alma has dared to read them. And then, after Alma was sure this would be the saddest, least fun vacation ever, things change. She meets an unusual man, who looks like an aging movie star, and he introduces her to an extraordinary woman by the name of Metullah. Metullah owns a café, has shining eyes, sharp senses and she’s good at guessing what her customers want. Alma starts working in the café, and aside from learning how to make a finely chopped vegetable salad, she also learns how to get to know people—for example Miri, an energetic and optimistic woman who for some reason is scared of driving. “If I could, I’d introduce you to my son Yoav,” says Miri, and Alma thinks that perhaps she has found not only work but a boyfriend too.
With sensitivity and humor, Vital Gilad reveals the world of a young girl coping with the loss of her father and then discovering the ability to believe in herself and move ahead without fear.



The book undoubtedly belongs to the “superb” category. The biggest compliment I can pay it is that when I finished reading it I felt that this was a soul-sister to the marvelous Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. And that is a tremendous compliment….  This is a mature book, deep, and full of love for humanity. There are not many such books for young people. And it is so beautifully written.    

Kore Basfarim


A book with cinematic design … The content is moving and powerful, and the main character is convincing, and therefore the plot works … Vital Gilad has written a book that touches the heart, and which will certainly have a tangible effect on the hearts of young readers, male and female.  



A finely written coming-of-age novel … Vital Gilad’s writing is rich in metaphors and is written in lyrical prose… A recommendable work that touches honestly and credible on the subject of the death of a parent  and its effect on the adolescent. 

Kriat Chova


An enchanting novella, sad but also good-humored, finely written, full of humor and wisdom. Really worthwhile!


A text that is restrained and that carefully avoids sentimentality, sounding a sensitive and credible voice.



A small book, funny, sad and lovely, about the way that life goes on.

Marmelada Market

Title Fear of Driving in the Fast Lane
Author’s Last Name Vital Gilad
Author's First Name Ruthie
Genre youth
Publisher (Hebrew) Keren
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2014
No. Pages 102 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Pachad Lidros Shliach Pitza
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".

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