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The Sound of Our Steps

Ronit Matalon
"There were three of them in the shack: the older brother, the older sister and the little girl. The mother was not another person: she was the shack."

The Sound of Our Steps is the humorous yet heartbreaking story of a "headless family," written with razor-sharp insight but also great warmth and love. It is a book about home, not-home, and the longing for one. And the home in question is a government-owned tenement on the edge of a rich neighborhood; more precisely, it is a shack in this dilapidated immigrant housing project. Here, the mother Lisette and her three children eke out a miserable living, while the father, obsessed with fighting government discrimation against Mizrahi Jews, only visits from time to time. Set in Israel of the 1950s and 60s, it draws on the author`s memories, as child and as adult, and weaves a fascinating double vantage point.
A winning novel by this well-known author.

... reading Matalon is a pleasure. Like all good writers, she understands how to breathe life – in all its complexity, ambiguity and inner workings – into her characters. Her characters are unique human beings ... Attentive readers are always grateful to meet authors like Matalon, artists capable of portraying the human situation from many different points of view. Seek out this book.

Jewish Herald Voice

The experience of exile, which lies at the heart of this novel, is magnificently transcended. Matalon's writing is demanding, elegant, resolutely impure, entirely tuned in to the Hebrew of today... Tremendously sensitive and humorous, [yet] deeply melancholic, this is one of the great books about exile. 
Le Monde
After 40 pages, one is sucked into the folly of this family united by deprivation, isolation and the memories of another life… Magnificently translated by Rosie Pinhas-Delpuech. 
Amazing!... The power of this book lies both in its rendering of a suffocating family, and in its lyrical, inventive language. 

Matalon The Sound of Our Steps
Title The Sound of Our Steps
Author’s Last Name Matalon
Author's First Name Ronit
Language(s) English, French, Italian, Turkish
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2008
No. Pages 424 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Kol Tzeʹadeinu
Representation Represented by ITHL


Italian: Rome, Atmosphere Libri, 2011
French: Paris, Stock, 2012
English: New York, Metropolitan, 2015
Turkish: Istanbul, Yapi Kredi,2018

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