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And the Bride Closed the Door

Ronit Matalon

On the day of her wedding, Margie, a young bride, 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. Her mother, Nadia, has lost a younger daughter in circumstances that are not clear. Her grandmother, who is hard of hearing, seems to understand her better than anyone. Ilan, a cousin who likes to wear women’s clothes and jewelry, clings to his grandmother like a little boy. And then there is Matti, the despairing groom, trying to decipher his beloved’s silence and understand why she refuses to marry him. The problem is not solved by the arrival of the groom’s parents and a psychologist who specializes in brides that change their mind. 

The harder they all try to reach defiant Margie, including bringing a high ladder belonging to the Palestinian Authority Power Company, the more Matti empathizes with her, and the more convinced he is that her refusal should be respected. But does that mean that she doesn’t love him? Perhaps she is actually rejecting social and family demands, a sort of female rebellion against the role that the world expects her to play.

A thought-provoking and enjoyable novella that will stay with the reader long after s/he has finished reading it.

COMPLETE ENGLISH TRANSLATION AVAILABLE (for publishers only).


REVIEWS

A remarkable book. The deep inner structures of Israeli society, the existential tensions of being Israeli, and questions pertaining to the definition of individual identity are dealt with brilliantly and light-handedly

The Brenner Prize Committee,  2017


A spellbinding novella … The action is replete with human gestures and behaviors that are delicately drawn … A fable on the Israeli condition … Matalon is one of today’s best Israeli authors, one of the original, intriguing and unique voices now active here. Her writing – the themes, the characters, the way they are shaped – is distinct and unique.

Gili Izikovich, Haaretz

 

A dazzling novella … A novella that is impossible to put down, right up to the last moment … This is exactly the way literature should be written.

Sigal Naor-Perelman, Haaretz


A great story … Ronit Matalon’s prose seems to flow… Elaborate, masterful narrative by one of the finest Hebrew writers, which does not forgo a rational structure, but is totally under her control within the volatile and vivid emotional current.

Nissim Calderon, Walla

If there is a narrative essence that Israeli literature, drama and cinema love to keep on going back to, Ronit Matalon’s new book formulates it in a firm and concentrated manner … Matalon, certainly since the early 2000s, has been establishing herself as an authoritative and influential author. Critics treat her work with the respect that once was reserved for Yehoshua, Oz and Grossman … It seems that today she is the prime, outstanding example, among both male and female writers, of the persona of the intellectual author who turns to the public at large on behalf of the important, big story … Matalon is a specialist at exposing the secrets and the flaws of her characters.

Yoni Livneh, Yedioth Ahroonoth

 

Under a light veil, great drama takes place, touching upon ethnic tensions, racism and the covert war between men and woman… Not many books can offer what Matalon’s book offers, a literary experience that is both very enjoyable and very shocking. 

Yiftach Ashkenazy, Odot

 

A marvelous book. .. A brief but abundantly endowed novella.

Vered Schnabel, NTG


What makes And the Bride Closed the Door such a searing and entertaining novella is the talent for extracting the unusual from the everyday, the specific from the general … Matalon is known to have a remarkable ability to express the feelings of her characters down to the finest of nuances … And the Bride Closed the Door is a book with its feet on the ground. One outcome of this is the marvelous metaphors – funny, precise and caustic – that are scattered throughout, and that emanate from a protracted observation of the characters … And the Bride Closed the Door is among her best works.

Neta Halperin, Israel Hayom

 

It is precisely because everything, starting with the theme and ending with the main points of the plot, are so familiar and almost ordinary and self-evident for a movie or a story, it is impossible not to be impressed by the way Matalon has chosen to take this subject and use it to weave a refreshing magic cloth, full of unexpected components, shades and tints, accurate observations of people and reconstruction of the way they move, speak and interrelate. Matalon’s discernment is amazing, as are the descriptions of the small details and the most insignificant events from which life is made … And the Bride Closed the Door is a beautiful novella, elegant, sophisticated and meticulous.

Havatzelet Farber, Makor Rishon

A novella written with impressive literary skill … Martalon’s prose is elegant, effortless, without a trace of forced artificiality.  

Shira Stav, Haaretz

 

A superb novella.

Prof. Michael Gluzman





Title And the Bride Closed the Door
Author’s Last Name Matalon
Author's First Name Ronit
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre novella
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2016
No. Pages 130 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ve-Ha-Kala Sagra Et Ha-Delet
Representation Represented by ITHL

Translations

Italian: Florence, Giuntina, forthcoming
French: Arles, Actes Sud, forthcoming
German: Munich, Luchterhand, forthcoming
Spanish: Barcelona, Minuscula, forthcoming

English: New York, New Vessel Press, Forthcoming 


 
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