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
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
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).
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
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
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
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
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
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
Shira Stav, Haaretz
A superb novella.
Prof. Michael Gluzman