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Partial English translation available (for publishers only)

The Building

Omer visits the building where he lived as a child and looks for a spare key to the apartment he grew up in, which still belongs to his family. The apartment has been rented out, and Omer is there to evict the tenant’s ill-mannered boyfriend, Aner, who has barricaded himself inside and refuses to open the door. As Omer knocks at the door of each apartment, trying to locate a key, a gateway opens up to his childhood, for the people he knew then still live there. The children are now adults, the adults have grown old, and each one has a story that he wants to tell.

The atmosphere of the novel is oddly surrealist, and the people Omer meets are flawed and menacing. His nightmarish ramble from apartment to apartment lasts three days, the bleak uncertain present highlighting the memory of a childhood that was remarkably innocent, warm and secure. Now, the apartment house feels like a seething inferno, a disaster zone, and Omer’s journey is both enjoyable and painful, as he wanders like sleepwalkers through the shadows of daily life, exposed to old, dark secrets that lurk beneath the surface. And over it all hovers a riddle that will be solved at the end, after a surprise discovery in the basement.

In his unique and brilliant style, Schurr takes a profound look at human life and at the world of writing.

Title The Building
Writer's Last Name Schurr
Writer's First Name Asaf
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
No. Pages 165pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Lama Dag Tzipor
  • “The dynamic nature of the text is its striking achievement.”

  • “There’s something disconcerting about Asaf Schurr’s new book, something creepy-crawly. It is the horror in ordinariness, of which Schurr is one of the more talented documenters in the Hebrew language. It is as if his somewhat odd and unusual books scratch the scabs and abrasions of reality until it is about to bleed. ”

    Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “As in his previous book, it is clear that Schurr’s strength lies in a style that is restrained on the surface yet stormy underneath, writing in which we find darkness but also comical moments, and unexpected intimacy.”