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Moving on from Bliss

Hila Amit

Dana, a single mother, and Mounir, a young Palestinian from Nablus, meet in a restaurant in a shabby Tel Aviv neighborhood where they both work. A warm father-daughter relationship grows between Mouni

r, who is gay, and Dana’s little girl Natalie. When Mounir travels to Canada for medical treatment and decides to live there, Dana follows him, leaves Natalie with him and returns to Israel. Mounir and his partner bring Natalie up, and an unusual family is formed.   

Joumana, an Arab doctor living in Tel Aviv with her Jewish partner, leaves the city when her father dies, and goes back to her parents’ home in Umm al-Fahm. Once again she confronts what made her leave her conservative family – not only her desire to study, but also her sexual identity. Her father’s death frees her from his tyranny and heals her relationship with her mother, her sisters and elder brother.

A girl who is estranged from her strict, taciturn mother falls in love with Oshri, a neighbor, and decides to move in with her. In Oshri’s home she finds an alternative family, and in Oshri’s mother a loving substitute for her own. The story, which takes place after Oshri’s death in a car accident, is a lyrical lament on the death of a partner as she tries to cope with grief and longing.

Jewish Adele is attracted to Tahrir, an Arab girl and the daughter of a well-known crime family, who lives near her in Jaffa. The forbidden, the alien and the dangerous all become more familiar in this and other stories in this collection.

Amit depicts gays, lesbians, Arabs and other marginalized characters. There is much courage and talent in this book – the courage to take on big subjects, and the talent to write about them in an original way.


PARTIAL GERMAN TRANSLATION AVAILABLE (for publishers only). 


REVIEWS

Vigorously written, with a delicate and precise hand and a rare combination of wit and compassion.

Author Amos Oz

 

The main strength of the book is the ability to undermine stigmas and prejudices and to undo the process of marking people as “the other.” Amit writes differently about “different” people … Amit’s prose is endowed with restraint, quietness, empathy, much delicacy and a minimalist style … The last story in the book is the loveliest, most complete and most melancholic in the collection … Moving on from Bliss is characterized by a unique and beautiful voice … by the courage to write political-social literature without compromise or fawning, by a humanistic methodology. 

Vered Lee, Haaretz

 

The trials faced by the characters are serious, and gradually become more serious as the book unfolds. At times, good literature is literature that focuses on critical decisions … It’s been years since I read a book that has a title that is so intriguing, so different … For Hila Amit, to move on from bliss means emptiness and loss. But, for her moving on from bliss also means nobility. 

Nissim Calderon, Odot

 

In order to explain the satisfaction this short book elicits; the pleasantly tearful throbs that occur at a frequency of once or twice during almost all of the stories that it contains; the response of a number of characters on the brink of despair and grief to Hila Amit’s firm but not aggressive treatment – in order to explain all of these, one must go back to the misleading first impression given by  the encounter with her first book Moving on from Bliss  ... Unlike the masochistic, traumatized approach that has gradually become the trademark of Israeli literature … Amit finds different ways, some of them simple and very effective, to rein in tragedy and the cheap handling of heartache … Nothing here is bombastic or self-satisfied. The characters themselves control the situations, playing gently with the permissible and the forbidden … An empathetic, measured connection is created between the reader and the stories. 

Yoni Livneh, Yedioth Ahronoth

It’s ages since I read such a good and such a promising first book … Like in real literature, the stylistic implement is suited to the author’s goals … I do not have words of my own to describe the delicacy, and the richness, and the beauty.

Nissim Calderon, Walla

 

The book deserves to be read. It is rich, deep, thought-provoking … It is a protest against discrimination of the stranger and the other, and it sounds a voice that continues to undermine conventions, to jolt stereotyping, and to call for second thoughts.

Orna Lieberman, E-Mago

 

A lovely collection … Gentle, sensitive prose about life.

Karin Michaeli, At



Title Moving on from Bliss
Author’s Last Name Amit
Author's First Name Hila
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre stories
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2016
No. Pages 191 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Me-Oshri Va-Hal'a
Representation Represented by ITHL

Translations

 
NEWS
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!
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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.
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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, birkenhauer@013.net and Gadi Goldberg, gadi.goldberg@gmail.com
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Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

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Congratulations to Zeruya Shalev and Shifra Horn for receiving the 2017 Adei Wizo Prize.

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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.
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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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ITHL director on Grossman's win
"Grossman winning is not only his own achievement, but the achievement of the Hebrew literature as a whole", - Nilli Cohen on the first Hebrew author to receive Man Booker International Prize. Click here for the full article in Hebrew.
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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.
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