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Only Child

Avi Garfinkel

Everybody wants something from Eliran Zinawi: His mobster father, Israel’s No. 1 crime boss, expects him to participate in a major struggle against a rival gang; a vengeful and oversexed woman wants him to kill her ex, who is deputy head of the Mossad; his girlfriend, a Tel Aviv student, keeps insisting that he tell her the truth about himself, and the army has called him up for reserve duty and a military operation in Gaza. And what does Eliran Zinawi want? Just the usual things: money, great sex, and for everyone to love him.

Only Child is a thrilling, fast-paced novel that also takes a courageous look at nagging topical issues in Israeli society, such as links between criminals and politicians, ethnic tensions, intolerance, and the exclusion of the “other.” The voice of the hero, Eliran Zinawi, has the clear and sharp tone of today’s Israeli youth: ambitious, shrewd, refusing to grow up. But he is also a complex and tragic figure, torn between loyalty to his family and his criminal way of life, his moral conscience and the need to rebel against his father and extricate himself from the cycle of violence.
A peculiar series of events and family revelations open Eliran’s eyes to the extent of treachery and danger in his world, and he contemplates his own place in the production line of Israeli identity. He chooses to turn his back on the criminal norms he is so familiar with, but pays a heavy price. From his prison cell, he makes a clean breast of things, he tries to explain his actions and his motives, and surprisingly he succeeds in arousing our sympathy. 




Avi Garfinkel tackles the big issues: From the angle of a social critic, he has written a book with an ambitious political purpose, setting out to paint a contemporary portrait of Israeli society … It is surprisingly relevant, suspenseful, entertaining and astute.


Only Child feels something like The Sopranos or The Godfather, with a hero who is a kind of local Vito Corleone … Someone should make a movie of it. 

Yedioth Ahronoth


A vibrant novel that touches the bare nerve ends of Israel today, with a fast-moving plot that is reminiscent of an action movie.


The narrator of Only Child, like Avi Garfinkel, is a gifted narrator. He knows how to hold on to a story, how to develop it, to create suspense and to pause it when necessary.

Time Out


This book is a very sensitive and topical social seismograph, that accurately reflects the edgy pulse of our society … Hats off to Avi Garfinkel for finally producing a novel in this genre in Hebrew … This is a brave book.



Only Child is engrossing and flows from beginning to end, mainly thanks to the up-to-date language and the surprising plot twists.

People of the Book

This would make a great basis for a Tarantino movie. The plot is pacy and suspenseful, sometimes amusing … Only Child is very enjoyable, and it convincingly reflects issues that interest Israeli society …The novel provides one of the most important elements that readers require of literature – it is simply fun to read.   

Kore Basfarim

Hallelujah! Only Child is not only an outstanding crime thriller, it is also one of the better Israeli novels I have read this year, a top contender for the title of the best of all… The book is written at the pace of a frenetic thriller, but this does not prevent Garfinkel from shaping complex, profound characters and conflict situations – between one  individual and another, and also between the individual and himself … I think that this is a book with something very important to say, something worth listening to.  
Uri Keidar, Thrillercritic

Title Only Child
Author’s Last Name Garfinkel
Author's First Name Avi
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2015
No. Pages 373 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ben Yachid
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!