Anat Mashiach. Fyorela

Thirteen-year-old Fyorela is the daughter of immigrants from North Africa who have settled in a small neighborhood in Tel Aviv. It is 1948: Fyorela is turning from a child into a woman; it is also the year when the British leave Palestine and the State of Israel is established. But her parents have not yet put down roots in their new homeland and they cling to the customs, the language and culture of the country they have left behind. Fyorela is torn between the two worlds. Her home and family are epitomized by her wise and beloved grandmother, who is full of stories but is pained at the loss of her life in North Africa and her language, Arabic. The new Israel is represented by the children, school and the Hebrew language. The gifted Fyorela, an avid reader and excellent student, has to suffer the condescension, racism and teasing of her classmates. But all this does not break her spirit: despite the humiliation and her feelings of otherness and loneliness, she is determined to put down roots, look forward and try new experiences. Towards the end of the year, Fyorela will at last find a friend, an outsider like herself, who is daring, high-spirited and uninhibited; she will also fall in love with a boy, a native Israeli, and discover sexuality, and the delight of writing stories.

Fyorela, whose family still see her as their “spoiled little chick,” leaves behind her childhood and the difficulty of fitting in. Brimming with self-confidence, she is determined to set out on an independent path.


In the best sensitive parts of the novel, Mashiach skillfully captures, in a poetic style, the story that is familiar to most of the members of the second and third generations of Israelis from Arab lands – the gap that gradually opens up  between the children “from here” and the parents “from there.”

Vered Lee, Haaretz


One of the loveliest books I’ve read recently … There’s one deep reason for my liking this book: the way in which Anat Mashiach writes, creates and presents so much human warmth that I could almost touch it rising out of the pages … Hurry to Read Fyorela.  

Sarit Flain, Literary blog

Fyorela touched my heart in a way that I haven’t experienced for a long time. I feel like hugging her, and telling her that all the hardship will make her into an amazing writer.

Maya Levin, Laisha

Mashiach writes forcefully and gently, ostentatiously and gracefully… A captivating character and motifs that make one smile.

Tsur Ehrlich, Makor Rishon

An outstanding, complex coming of age novel … The life of a family that immigrated from Libya and its customs are vividly and picturesquely depicted … My warm recommendation for this original, interesting, moving and successful novel, written in effortless and very restrained language.

Orna Lieberman, E-mago

Do yourselves a favor and go buy Anat Mashiach’s Fyorela. There’s a little magic taking place between its pages that extricates the reader from the everyday dunghill, so full of political intrigues, extremism and corruption, and conveys her or him through a time-and language-tunnel to the Land of Israel on the threshold of statehood, to different days and different people … It reminded me a little of The Falafel King Is Dead by Sara Shilo, particularly in the ability to create out of nothing a reality that sounds completely authentic, with precision, sensitivity, richness and beauty that are singularly surprising in a first book … Mashiach is good at describing and verbalizing all of those disgraces, both small and big … as well as the dissonances between love for family and awareness of the limitations of family members … and the painful gap between one’s dreams and aspirations on the one hand  and one’s grasp of reality and acknowledgement of its defects on the other. And she knows how to tell a story and make the reader feel the alienation, the detachment that stem from the realization that one is not here, but also not there ... Mashiach does it in a manner that is captivating, free-flowing, and remarkably painterly.
Orit Harel 

Quality, unique writing.

Ito Aviram, Hitrashmut


Title Fyorela
Author’s Last Name Mashiach
Author's First Name Anat
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2016
No. Pages 292 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Fyorela
Representation Represented by ITHL